Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What nerds can do

So! Last night was the first night of "The Sing-Off". Anybody besides me watch? ...... anybody?..... Bridgett?......

The opening number, "Under Pressure", really showed off what these groups can do. A cappella singing is difficult, and these guys made it look easy, letting their nerd flags fly, creating something beautiful with their voices.

And for you non-nerds, you have NO IDEA how much practice it takes to get to that level. The hours and hours and hours and hours of often mind-numbingly boring practice, practice, practice.

Cool kids would never try, but the nerds sure will.

A few notes from the show: I'm sure glad they aren't using props, because that would pretty much suck. I can't figure out if that Mormon girl always rocks the bleach-blonde fauxhawk, or if the producers told her to do it. Speaking of which, who the hell is picking those god-awful outfits? And I'm not sure what the barbershop gals are doing there - that rendition of "Dancing Queen" was pretty f*cking painful.

That said, will I keep watching?

Aw yeah.


Bridgett said...

Well hell yeah, I watched. I am so digging Ben Folds as a judge -- he's actually dispensing some good advice about vocal arranging and musicality, plus he's funny in that dorky way that I love. Nicole "I need a Beyonce hair fan to breeze my over-straightened 'do" doesn't look quite as much like a hoochie mamma as she does when she's in her work clothes, but she still isn't saying anything intelligent or helpful. She's the Paula Abdul of this show. And Shawn is somewhere in between -- he's got some good observations about how to sell the performance and I don't want to hit him with a shovel when he talks (unlike Nicole) but he doesn't seem comfortable talking to these people as a mentor.

I think the fauxhawk was her innovation to counter the "OMG! Mormons!" reaction on the part of viewers who presume that LDS people are pretty damn square. My early favorite is Nota -- good song choice, well-delivered -- and The SoCals (lead singer is way on the "I am auditioning for the part of Roger in Rent" side but I did like their arrangement). The college groups are a little spazzy for TV -- I imagine that the Bubs are crazy-good if you saw them in a dining hall, but their performance was vocally immature. The poor kids from Voices of Lee look like victims of directorial abuse -- teachers that make kids cry "just being honest" are assholes that do not own up to the power differential.

And oh, Maxx Factor...what the hell? Technically, I think they were the most accomplished group out there and as an older woman, I do love to hear older woman voices featured. However, that arrangement blew. I have high hopes for their take on Amy Winehouse's Rehab. It's a clever and unexpected choice but well-suited to a bunch with good lower range because of the womping bari sax in the original arrangement.

I did agree with the eliminations, however. Unfortunately, Solo wasn't rehearsed enough and had some internal tensions that probably did it in. (Seemed like everyone thought they should be the lead.) The guy group just got overwhelmed by nerves, I think, and went off-pitch.

I'm so glad that you're doing this again. I was thinking of you last night when I was watching that thinking "wonder if Wendy is tuning in to the show choir fest?" It's not exactly Glee , but it takes some of the sting out of having to wait until spring to see more episodes of that.

rockygrace said...

I knew you'd come through, Bridgett - thanks for the insightful critique!

I'll be plopped down in front of the TV again tonight, for sure.