The Sing-Off - Premiere Episode - Did You Watch?

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Did you guys watch The Sing-off last night? I blogged the American Country Awards (can’t get those two hours of my life back, unfortunately) so I’m just catching up with the premiere on Hulu this morning.

What did you think? The two groups who were eliminated by the judges panel, “Pitch Slapped” and “Men of Note” weren’t a surprise. I was a little disappointed that my Berklee College of Music homies weren’t better, but considering their musical training, they should have been tighter.

The judges: Ben Folds is smart and funny as he gives each group detailed constructive criticism. He verbalizes fine points that go way beyond simple superlatives (although he did use the word “pitchy” once”.) Although not as verbally adept as Ben, Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men understands the ins and outs of a’capella singing, expressing himself with enthusiasm and passion. Nicole Scherzinger is the weak link here. She’s like a Paula Abdul without any of the lulz. Simon Cowell has supposedly tapped her for the X Factor US judges’ panel? I hope not.

Now that the fall awards season is over, the decks are cleared for me to live blog the remaining 5 episodes of The Sing-Off. The remaining 8 groups compete on Wednesday night. See you there!

See the entire episode after the jump.

Video after the JUMP…

 
  • http://www.dancin.ca dancin

    for the most part i really enjoyed it… then there were some wtf moments with “pros” but i really enjoyed it :)

  • tripp_ncwy

    They have better acts than last year. The second group was so much stronger than the first. I hated to see someone go home out of group two. I can’t wait until next week.

  • smeggingnuts

    Can I just say Wiffenpoofs is my new favorite word hehe

    I was really surprised how articulate Ben Folds was. He is a great judge. Nicole kinda also reminds me of Kara sometimes. There was a few time I expected her to start saying “artistry” lol

  • 10DogMom

    While I am sick of “Soul Sister” just like everyone else, I have to say I’m really looking forward to hearing the southern boys do that on Wednesday – they had the best “preview” at the end. I don’t know what they did to it, but I floved it!

    And that alto from the California group – I thought the song was going to be too low for her, but she worked it OUT – and she’s gorgeous, to boot. I wonder if she ever tried out for Idol…

  • t2

    Am I watching? Of course I am.

    How could I possibly overlook a show that brought me the Beazlebubs. + Ben Folds. Where else are you going to see Ben Folds?

  • oceana

    I think Nicole is great. Somehow it’s not easy for a woman to sit on these judges panels and get good reviews. Nicole isn’t like Paula to me at all. She made some good comments which I enjoyed. I like all 3 judges and Nick Lachey too. Glad they kept this winning team. Much better than Idol judges imo :) (hopefully new judges will do better).

    I didn’t really like Shawn Stockman’s comment to the Whifferpoofs (if I spelled that right). It seemed like reverse discrimination to me. All the groups were selling themselve in their little bios, and the judges said that the old-man group were the “godfathers of acapella” so how is that different than the wifferpoofs feeling a responsibility to uphold the 100 year tradition of Yale? (was it Yale?) You don’t have to be from the hood to be credible, those guys can’t help it that they were born rich and privileged, and have great educations, but they were awesome with Grace Kelly, they should be judged on that and not their bio, as everyone’s bio was self-promoting and full of hype, each group played up their strong points and they each had their stories and tried to hook people’s sympathies, I like Shawn Stockman but his comment seemed unfair to me.

  • luci

    I watched the first hour, then got annoyed that they kicked out the group from Berkeley and stopped watching. I thought they were good.

  • bentley1530

    Good Show and as others have mentioned, overall the groups are stronger than last year. I am also glad to see the host and judges back from last year since they all work well together. Since the early rounds are not live, I wonder if the judges have writer’s help with some of those comments? I felt sorry for “Pitch Slapped” because they talked a big game and then did not measure up.

  • Grammie Kari

    I really enjoyed the show and didn’t remember that it was on last year. I usually don’t miss these things. Every group was good to various degrees. My main complaint involved all the commercials!

    I wonder if she ever tried out for Idol…

    I swear, I thought the same thing! She was terrific. I liked the energy of the high school group. What a boost for glee clubs all over America (that and a little show called Glee.)

    Is Wednesday their regular day?

  • caroleinfla

    I only watched the first hour. I thought the older men did a wonderful job with their singing. “Pitched Slapped” is the group that my family said should go home. Therefore, I was happy with the judges decision. 2 hours is just to much. Is it always to hours?

  • oceana

    The show will be on for 3 weeks, twice a week the first two weeks I think, Monday and Wednesday. Short and sweet. Love this show!

  • Grammie Kari

    It is on Wednesday. Then, it looks like it will be on Monday and Wednesday (Dec. 13, 15) next week.

    I also thought the judges did a terrific job, especially the guys (Ben and Shawn). I am anxious to see how Randy has changed come January. At least that’s what I was thinking.

  • smeggingnuts

    I didn’t really like Shawn Stockman’s comment to the Whifferpoofs (if I spelled that right). It seemed like reverse discrimination to me. All the groups were selling themselve in their little bios, and the judges said that the old-man group were the “godfathers of acapella” so how is that different than the wifferpoofs feeling a responsibility to uphold the 100 year tradition of Yale? (was it Yale?) You don’t have to be from the hood to be credible, those guys can’t help it that they were born rich and privileged, and have great educations, but they were awesome with Grace Kelly, they should be judged on that and not their bio, as everyone’s bio was self-promoting and full of hype, each group played up their strong points and they each had their stories and tried to hook people’s sympathies, I like Shawn Stockman but his comment seemed unfair to me.

    IMHO I didn’t think that was what Shawn was saying. In the Wiffenpoofs intro package they kept saying their group was the originator of a capella groups. He was just kinda poking fun and pointing out that THEy weren’t. Those kids but the name/group had history. As compaired to the older group who had been doing that for decades. This current incarnation of the Wiffenpoofs hadn’t. Now I don’t agree with howw he when about trying to make that point. But he didn’t mean that because they weren’t from the hood they weren’t. Valid.

  • hypertwink

    I’m still a little bitter that The ‘Bubs didn’t win last season…but hey, at least now, they’re getting the notice/fame they deserve.

    Anyway, I started giggling at the Whippenpoofs when they began singing Grace Kelly. It wasn’t flawless but credit to them for being ambitious. I got bored with the one who sang Tears for Fears.

    I like the one who sang Bad Romance, even though I’m so effing tired of that song and every rendition in the world. They were great and fun to watch.

    p.s. I always want to punch that Pussycat in the face.

  • Ladybug

    Needless to say…Reality Talent Show Competition…I am always so there. Ok, I did drop the execrable Skating With the Stars, but I didn’t want to spend another minute on it, even if I could record it. My bar is low, but that show was beneath it.

    I enjoyed this show a lot last year and it is starting out quite fun, once again. I thought, honestly, all of them did really good work. I was disappointed in the Berklee performers’ song choice. I think it killed them over their actual performance of it.

    The show is pure entertainment, start to finish for me. I’ll give up the time 2 days a week to watch this one.

  • Duke

    I was REALLY excited for the Berklee group, as I am starting school there in January..but i think their downfall was their lead male singer…and their song choice…

    highlight of the night was deff the last group….they were RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME! i think the dark horses r the highschool group…they have a strong lead singer and the whole HSM/GLEE thing is really taking off. excited for next week!

  • Incipit

    Well. I heard about this show after the fact last year, totally because of Ben Folds. People were saying ‘this’ is what a judge ought to be doing and saying, to really be useful to the competitors….detailed, specific and useful critiques. They were right. IMO.

    Happy to check it out this year – I also didn’t know it was available on Hulu – that’s my TV channel…

    Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    ETA – Hearing the 1960′s Drifters song was quite a treat – “Save the Last Dance for Me” – that era has a lot of Do-Wop music that would lend itself to this genre – and then they jumped to ‘the tables down at Morys’ – this is a cool show.

  • cwm

    I love this show! I’m so glad you’re covering it on your blog, MJ!

    Last night’s show was really entertaining. My sentimental favorite is On The Rocks because they’re our local boys (Go OTR!), but they have some seriously stiff competition. Gonna have to bring their A-game to stay in this competition. The final group — the gospel group Committed — was absolutely fantastic. They delivered the best performance of the night. I was glad the Berklee group went home — they pompously talked a big game but simply did not deliver up to the hype they themselves created. Poor song choice and not a great performance to boot.

    And I really like the judging panel– especially Ben and Shawn. Smart, knowledgeable, fun, spot-on feedback.

    Looking forward to Wednesday!

  • larc

    luci:
    I watched the first hour, then got annoyed that they kicked out the group from Berkeley and stopped watching. I thought they were good.

    ITA! The weakest group in the first set was Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town, IMO. Their performance was a nice nostalgic moment, but they were the least creative group that sang the whole evening. They should have been the ones to go instead of Pitch Slapped.

    Duke:
    highlight of the night was deff the last group….they were RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME!

    That was Committed. It was like they were in a whole different league.

  • Allison

    Surprised at Pitch Slapped going home. I thought it would be the group that did Gaga. I thought it was mostly posturing. I loved the Whiffenpoofs!

  • TwigLA

    I loved this show last year and am thrilled it’s back again. I’m also glad that it’s on Hulu since I fell asleep in the middle. I really need to get my sleep pattern back on track.

    Ben Folds and his critiques are just all sorts of awesome. When Idol was looking for new judges, I thought they should do anything they could to get him. I also like Shawn a lot with Nicole bringing up the rear. She’s not awful though, just a little out-classed.

    I’m really rooting for Talk of the Town. They were fantastic. Lots of talent in the groups. I got a kick out of On the Rocks. Lots of fun.

  • luval

    Will continue to watch this show. Ben Folds was great.

  • Nina1

    This show was on last year?? How did I miss it? It was fun, and I thought the judges were quite good. I, too, was disappointed in the Berklee townies, but it isn’t the first time, so…

  • bentley1530

    I just realized that one of the reasons I like this show is that everyone is serious about competing, no joke contestants, no WTF performances. I am rooting for all of them to do well.

  • larc

    The Whiffenpoofs group were singing a cappella before Jerry Lawson or anybody else in Talk of the Town was even born. JS…

    It would be a shame if the Whiffenpoofs don’t get to sing “The Whiffenpoof Song.” Since they undoubtedly won’t win, maybe that will be their exit choice.

  • lili_anne7

    This show was on last year?? How did I miss it? It was fun, and I thought the judges were quite good.

    That was my reaction too. I never heard of this show before, but I liked it a lot. I thought the judges were great, they were constructive, and most of the groups were pretty good.

  • Buffynut

    I loved this show and I am not a Glee fan! I thought the groups were great. I did not agree with the 2nd group they sent home, but oh well, someone had to go.
    I think Nick Lachey is doing a good job hosting
    Ben Folds = Wow! A judge that actually has something to say, takes notes, and gives constructive criticism.

  • tierbee

    I love this show – loved it last year, loved it last night with even stronger groups this year. Hee, Whiffenpoofs. That’s just awesome.

    Committed was fantastic. And Jerry Lawson (that’s the older guy, right?) totally made me cry in that little clip after he performed when you could see how much this meant to him to not only be able to perform but to see the youngsters loving and performing “his” music. I found that so moving.

    And I LOVE a whole night of singing – just pure vocal talent, no smoke and mirrors, no autotune, just TALENT. It’s a beautiful thing.

  • tierbee

    Oh, and the opening group number? That was awesome :)

  • TwigLA

    The Whiffenpoofs group were singing a cappella before Jerry Lawson or anybody else in Talk of the Town was even born. JS…

    WOW! They look young for their age.

  • hazuki

    Nicole the weak link? LOL. Nicole did an great job at judging yesterday.

  • cwm

    tierbee:
    12/07/2010 at 2:58 pm
    I love this show – loved it last year, loved it last night with even stronger groups this year. Hee, Whiffenpoofs. That’s just awesome.

    Committed was fantastic. And Jerry Lawson (that’s the older guy, right?) totally made me cry in that little clip after he performed when you could see how much this meant to him to not only be able to perform but to see the youngsters loving and performing “his” music. I found that so moving.

    And I LOVE a whole night of singing – just pure vocal talent, no smoke and mirrors, no autotune, just TALENT. It’s a beautiful thing.

    tierbee:
    12/07/2010 at 3:01 pm
    Oh, and the opening group number? That was awesome :)

    tierbee — I couldn’t agree more. I love this show. :-)

  • jersey

    I loved this show. I like all the judges although I think Ben Folds gives the most detailed, constructive criticism of them all.

    Although I agree Pitch Slapped was weaker than I expected last night, I don’t think they should have gone home. I think in the first hour, Jerry Lawson and TOT were the weakest. I guess there was no way the judges were going to send home “legends” on the first night. I was sure they were going to send home the high school group telling them they had time to grow and should try again next year. Oh well. I do think that the entertainment value of Pitch Slapped would have been higher than Jerry Lawson and crew.

    I really enjoyed Groove for Thought.

  • tierbee

    I must admit I had to go back and watch it (thanks MJ) — it makes good background music while I’m on the computer. I forgot how much I really, really liked Street Corner Symphony.

  • kmd

    I really like this show. I thought it was great last year too. My two favorites so far are the last group Committed and Whiffenpoofs. But most of them are good so it is hard to pick. I think Ben Folds is great too.

  • hcpoirot

    I watched it last year and of course I watche it this year.

    The talent this year is higher than last year. I am hoping for the top 8, they split th groups correctly. Not like right now where the second groups wer stronger than the first groups.

    Some of the vocalist can try Idol or x Factor too cause some of them got good vocals.

    And thank God for not even one act that was very very bad like some of Idols or UK X Factor finalists.

    Very high quality first episodes. My fav had to be Committed and The Backbeats. But one slip and they probably wont reach the finale.

    The next groups to go home probably On The Rocks & Jerry Lawson.

    I had to say that if The Whippenpoofs reach finale they probably will win from the people votes. They are very memorable from the get go and that was very important cause this competition only last 3 weeks and people will vote to determine the winner after just watching them perform 2 weeks.

  • hcpoirot

    The dark horse had to be Elevent Hour, the youngest group in this competition but sound very solid. They must be practicing a lot.

    Street Corner Symphony was one of the dark horse too cause they sing with such effortless and that was hard to do with music not to mention without music.

  • Dlynne

    I missed the last half hour so I’m happy it’s on Hulu and I was able to catch up.

    I agree that the last half was stronger than the first. It’s too bad that one of them had to go but the judges chose the right one to leave.

    I didn’t really care for On The Rocks’ manic choreography. I’m glad they are getting another chance to see what they can do. I don’t really have a favorite yet but I do like Street Corner Symphony and Eleventh Hour a lot.

    I really like this panel of judges. They have great chemistry and I like that they don’t attempt to oneup each other.

    Looking forward to Wednesday.

  • movin2thabeet

    I missed the beginning but enjoyed the rest of the show. Good to know its on Hulu. I watched last year and am glad MJ is covering this year. Interesting to see so many familiar faces back together in the newly formed group, the Backbeats. Like last year, there is a heckuva lot of talent on this show. Should be entertaining.

  • DLPF

    I’d never seen this show before, although heard plenty of a capella groups at my kids’ colleges. I liked it a bunch. Lots of talent, more than you see on a typical early AI show. And happily, the judges were more about constructive criticism than self-promotion. Very entertaining and all the groups were fun to watch.

  • MaryS-NJ

    I just watched the whole episode on Hulu. How did I not hear about this before today??

    Loved it! I was hoping the NJ Home Boys (Men of Note) would do well, but I can’t deny that they were rushed and not as tight as most of the other groups. Pitch Slapped weren’t very tight either and that hair tossing was a little silly, and for all the bluster about “top arts school blah blah” they should have been better.

    Eleventh Hour were adorable in their pluckiness.

    I thought the Whiffenpoofs were arrogant (right, they invented a cappella music… tell that to the Welsh) but they were very good on Grace Kelly (but I’ll always remember Josiah Lemming’s performance in Hollywood week of AI most of all).

    I wanted to root for Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town and they were good, but they were also very old fashioned.

    I loved Back Beats and Committed! They saved the best two groups for last, in my opinion. I replayed both performances several times and enjoyed every minute.

    And best… the judges! I think all three of them had great moments and I do think Nicole has a Paula-like quality. But Ben and Shawn had great moments and gave constructive criticism and well deserved praise. If only the American Idol judges could do that. I think they made the right choices for elimination too.

    Will tune in again next week.

  • Q3

    I watched — love this show. And The Committed were amazing. If anyone told me someone could make me like a Maroon 5 song that much……

    And I think Ben Folds is the best singing judge on TV. Actually made intelligent comments and was critical without being snarky or mean. What a novel concept!

  • cookcricket

    Thanks for posting this mj! I was curious about this show since some have mentioned it for various reasons in other threads. I love the focus on the the talent and the voices.

    Kettering (Eleventh Hour) is only about 20-30 minutes from me, so of course I’m rooting for these underdogs. :D However, there are some amazing groups! I liked all four of the groups that made it through in the second hour.

    I also liked all of the judges. Very good TV on my computer!

    Sorry my young high school group beat out your Berklee Collage group mj!

  • sunchick

    Yay, it’s back. I could listen to Ben Folds talk for days. That said, I kind of missed the Bubs. And I would have sent home the snoozy jazz group…Groove something, before Pitch Slapped.