The Sing-Off concluded its run with a two-hour finale that included performances by Smokey Robinson, Boyz II Men (including judge Shawn Stockman), Bobby McFerrin, (judge) Nicole Scherzinger, Natasha Bedingfield, and (judge) Ben Folds. Host Nick Lachey and those randomly sprinkled hairs beneath his nose he calls a moustache all presided over the a cappella competition between the three finalists: the Beelzebubs, Voices of Lee, and Nota.
SPOILER ALERT! Don't read any further if you don't want to know who won The Sing-Off. The winning act
won a recording contract and a cash prize of $100,000.
The winners were Nota, the San Juan, Puerto Rico-based singers. They displayed a nice intricacy and range that probably put them over the top, although I was most charmed this night by the Beelzebubs' choice of farewell song after they'd been booted: a cleverly frantic, scrambling-for-the-exits version of the Animals' "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place."
Unfortunately, the limitation of The Sing-Off as a series is that, after a while, whether an act was singing a song by the Beatles or from The Sound of Music, the majority of similar harmonies and the beatbox percussive effects eventually reduced a lot of the music to a pretty repetitiveness.
The Sing-Off studio audience this night was dotted, American Idol-style, by random celebs (Jack Black, Masi Oka, Peter Gallagher). The only egregious moment was a screechy holiday performance by the finalists plus Lachey of the Phil Spector-Darlene Love song "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)." On Wednesday night's Late Show with David Letterman, Darlene Love will show these whippersnappers how that song should be sung.
Judge Shawn Stockman cried before the winner was announced, and, ever the plucky competitor, Nicole Scherzinger tried her best to squirt out a few tears before her face was overcome by the sincere banalities pouring from her mouth ("It's just a blessing to have you up here on this stage"). The voice of moderation and humor remained Ben Folds.
In any case, best of luck to Nota. It's hard for an a cappella act to break through to a wide pop audience. (Just ask the great Persuasions.)
Did you agree with the winning pick? And would you watch another edition of The Sing-Off?
For more on The Sing-Off, see Wendy Mitchell’s highly sensible plea: Can Ben Folds get his own TV show, please?