About me

I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

My Pandora "radio station" profile
This is my favorite way to listen to music now.

My Yahoo "radio station"
(Unfortunately, only works in IE.)

Shopping

Looking to purchase something online? Support Caddickisms by going through one of these links:

Caddickisms Store

Amazon.com

Calendar

December 2010
S M T W T F S
« Nov   Jan »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Topics

Posts by month

Around the site

I wanted to follow up on a couple of posts I made (long ago) about web conferencing. Figured it was about time I got back to it. I had the occasionFree web conferencing - ups and downs

WOODTV.com & WOOD TV8 - Grand Rapids news, weather, sports and video - Man in wheelchair takes ride on semi's grill A man in a wheelchair was struck by a semi,Buckle up!!!

I spent this weekend in a house owned by my family in the mountains. We do this a few times a year. My father's family had been coming to thisThe day I was chased by a tree - a lesson viscerally learned

Robert Downey Jr. has been touted as the perfect choice to play Tony Stark. When I first saw the trailer I was doubtful about that choice. I always pictured StarkReview: Iron Man

Lee posted his "Nerd badge" score recently. He failed to get it, and rightly so. Not because of any lack of nerd-dom on his part, but because of the idiocyThe Nerd Badge is invalidly valid, therefore I get one

Seriously, where else are you going to get a combination like that? I've got three video clips for you today, and one of them is not fiction. See if you canFirefly is back, Singing Batman, and Cyborg Rats

Today I left my house. No, really, it's true. There wasn't a computer monitor anywhere near me for hours. Well, okay, except for when we stopped at Best Buy, but other thanGeek field maneuvers (without the proper tech)

Traveling across the 'net as part of this commentluv contest, I ran across this really interesting site that went around to different cities asking 50 random people on the street:What's your wish for today?

Stop, right now. Don't read anything else. Just click the play button below. Okay, I'll forgive you if hit the Expand button first. Seriously. Do it. Now. Did you watch it?Tron: Legacy - new trailer

It looks like we're headed into another year of big movies. I'm getting all fan-boy giddy just thinking about what's coming. On the heels of Avatar, though, it seems like everyMovies 2010 - must see or must miss?

Vanguard − The "Dilbert" guide to personal finance This list from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, is about 2 years old, but I just saw it for the first time,Personal Finance advice from "Dilbert"

Kilmer plans Genius return - Movie news - Movies - Virgin.net Okay, Real Genius was a pretty funny Val Kilmer movie. For the 80's. Making a sequel 20 years later... notA not-so-Genius move

Well, this week was the one to launch three shows I'll be following this year (Heroes, FlashForward, and Smallville) and close out the opening season for a summer series IPremieres/Finales Fall 2009

I wasn't feeling well today, and there wasn't much on the tube, so I tuned in to the only movie playing that I hadn't seen before: Hellboy. In sci-fi, comic book,Review: Hellboy

In the e-Learning Guild's discussion community, the concept of using stories for training is being covered. At one point, Christy Tucker noted that at a previous job she had workedInterviewing for creativity

Review: The Sing-Off

To steal a phrase from one of the judges, this show is “off the hook!”

I don’t like a lot of the “talent competitions” that are on TV. American Idol is little more than a chance to alternately berate people or contribute to creating a narcissistic personality. Yes, some of those people are very talented, but the show is really more about Simon Cowell and the other judges. America’s Got Talent I can tolerate a little more because of the variety on the show, but it still boils down to berating people until there are a few people left who have some talent.

The Sing-Off blew me away with the level of talent from the very first group. And as the first episode progressed I was just more and more impressed. Even the “bad” groups were very talented.

A Capella singing requires serious teamwork. It’s not a bunch of lead singers getting up and singing together. Listen to one of the group performances from American Idol, then listen to a group performance from The Sing-Off. There’s no comparison. The American Idol crew can be good at times and fun to listen to, but they should just sit down, shut up, and listen to the experts blend. No one is trying to out-sing (as in overpower) anybody else – the entire goal is cooperation and melding of voices to present a single sound. Ego must take a back seat for it to work at all. Even the lead singers in each group become almost invisible once they step back and let somebody else go to the front.

Committed, the eventual winners, debuted with this unbelievably good performance:

I came to the premiere late and only heard a couple of groups before this one, but when I heard that I almost fell off the couch. Just awesome. That song set the bar for that group (and others) at a high level. They stumbled a couple of times along the way, and honestly I’m a little surprised that they made it through some extremely stiff competition in the episodes where they missed the mark slightly, but even when they screwed up it was because they were too complex, not because they made any noticeable mistakes.

All the groups that made it to the finale just dripped talent. Some grew significantly during the season, and some just started out that way. Even in the semi-final round I’d have had a hard time dropping anyone (as did the judges, apparently). On The Rocks (who gained popularity on the internet with a viral video of a Lady Gaga song), for example, really showed significant improvement over the course of the show, moving from entertainers to solid performers.

Even some who left earlier blew me away. Music teachers Groove for Thought were an amazing jazz group. I’d buy their record in a heartbeat, and I’d be thrilled to hear them in person.

I could post one example of excellence from just about every group who took the stage. And I really want to – I won’t, but I want to… I love this stuff. If you get a chance to watch the watch the show, please do it. You can fast forward through all the contest and filler bits and just watch the songs – it takes significantly less time (though I actually thought that the judges comments were constructive and were presented positively (as opposed to the judges on some other shows) and worth listening to as well, for the most part – another reason I like this show better than others).

I’m gonna leave you with the semi-final performances of the three runners-up. The judges choose each of the songs to fit the group and have them show what they could do, and each of them truly delivered. One of them was supposed to be cut after this round, and the judges couldn’t do it. The whole thing just dripped with awesome.

Let’s kick it off with the awesome Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town performing “The House of the Rising Sun”

Just such a pure sound. I’m not a huge fan of that song, but they drove that one home and parked it. That’s the way to do it.

Next up, The Backbeats, one of the groups I didn’t think would make it this far, with a beautiful rendition of “Landslide”:

This is another song that I wasn’t a big fan of to begin with, but I love this arrangement. It just elevated the song for me.

Finally, the group that I really thought would capture the contest, Street Corner Symphony, doing CCR’s “Down on the Corner”:

I am a fan of this song, and they totally did it justice. I’m not a huge fan of working your group name into the songs, but I loved the way they did it here in the bridge, and I’ll let it slide because of the awesome work they’d done up to this point in the competition. I can put up with a little self-promotion if you deserve it.

Like I said, I could find a great performance from just about every group, but I think they made the right choices in getting to the final four.

One more thing: in some of those clips, you can see the other groups applauding their competition. I think that’s another thing that sets this show apart. Those people recognize the talent in their adversaries. They know how hard this is to do well, and I think they genuinely appreciated each other. I don’t think there was false humility on anyone’s face. They all love this and each other.

Get rid of the “dragging out the suspense” and tighten up some of the background stories and this would be the perfect talent competition. I’d even watch this entire season over again (and may). Great, great stuff.

Did you watch any of this? What did you think? Who should have won?

(okay, one more thing: I’d seen Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town before on a kid’s show. I just didn’t know their name. Their’s was my favorite performance on that show, too. They really seemed to have fun.)

Tags: , , , , ,

4 comments to Review: The Sing-Off

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge