I really owe a debt of gratitude to Chelle for telling me about The Sing-Off. Since watching that first episode 2 and a half weeks ago, I've gone and snagged all the previous seasons and it's been a wonderful experience. I really really <3 a Capella. What was sort of interesting, though it should have been expected, is just how much improvement there has been in the average talent of the groups from year to year. I'll admit it made for a bit of a letdown at first since I was completely blown away from the first episode of the third season. Going back and watching from the very beginning, it seemed that there were a lot more groups that simply didn't seem to have a real chance due to talent.
I have to qualify that opinion with a caveat. I've realized that I'm not a very good judge of the quality of these performances sometimes because I just can't divorce myself from what I like and what is good from a musicality standpoint. There are some things that I absolutely love when it comes to rubbing harmonies and other bits that set my teeth on edge. There's also a stylistic bias on my part where I simply don't like some types of music, like for instance I'm not very fond of jazz. That colors my perception and it's very hard for me to see past that so it's sometimes hard for me to agree with the judges when they laud a song that I just don't care for. But then again, that's why I'm not really a music nerd for all that I love singing. I simply don't have the breadth of experience and knowledge to really understand the fundamentals. I simply like what I like.
I'm currently halfway through watching the 3rd episode of the 3rd season, which is why I'm here posting. The bracket system on The Sing-off sucks donkey balls. I have no clue if it was just random chance or there was some method to the madness. I loved almost every single group in the first bracket. The music was just beautiful, and almost all of them were just oozing talent. I figured the second bracket would be similar and I just didn't feel it at all. I remember just feeling disappointed after watching the second episode. While there were groups I liked, it just didn't seem up to the quality of the first as a whole. It just doesn't seem fair somehow that because of chance or happenstance, you end up competing against the big boys while others get a pass playing pop warner. I really would have preferred if they had somehow mixed it up each week and scrambled the two brackets until enough groups were eliminated to combine them together.
So far, I'm still happy with my overall picks though after seeing the earlier season, I don't think that The Yellowjackets really have a chance in the end. There seems to be a bias against large numbers of people in this a capella contest. Maybe it's because it's just too easy when you have a dozen people. The harmonies are just too easy to create and you have a lot of leeway when it comes to pitch when there are a lot of voices. When there are only a handful, you have to be spot on or everyone will hear it. Not to mention, it's also harder to highlight the really good harmonies when you have that many people. So far, all the groups which seem to get to the end usually have the quality that you would swear to God there were more of them than there actually are if you closed your eyes and listened to them sing.
Anyway, I'm going to go back and watch the second half now. I'm not a fan of 60's music but this is much better than listening to the original version.