November 28, 2011

Show Review: THE SING-OFF Season 3

NBC's in such bad shape that it took a modest winter hit in The Sing-Off and stretched it out to fill a hole in its fall line-up. While, I cannot say that the "biggest season yet" of the a cappella singing competition was successful from a ratings stand-point, it was still entertaining.

One of the strengths and weaknesses of this season was the increased number of groups. On one hand, it was harder to pick a clear favorite early on. Last year, Committed pretty much won the competition on the first night, and it was fun to watch them perform but it made the finale anti-climactic. The same couldn't be said this season, but the pool also felt diluted. The added episodes also didn't help the show because I thought that it was best used as a filler series and not a major part of the schedule, but I digress.

The added acts and episodes may not have been the right moves, but one change that I felt was wildly successful was replacing the Pussycat Doll with Sara Bareilles. She was so freaking cute and charming, and I felt that she had brought more insight and constructive criticism than Nicole ever did. The chemistry between her and the rest of the judges also helped a lot. The Sing-Off may not be long for this world, but I'm hoping for a fourth season just so we can have Sara back.

Season 3 had a slow start since we had to wade through more groups, but it started to become clear during the final weeks that Pentatonix was pulling away from the pack, so it wasn't a shocker that they ended up being crowned the champions. While I respected what the Dartmouth Aires and Urban Method brought to the table, I was consistently floored by Pentatonix's performances and how they were always able to put their own unique spin on the genre. Even more impressive was the fact that they're a group of only five who went up against larger acts.

Like I said, I don't know how much longer The Sing-Off is going to be sticking around. It's numbers didn't set the world on fire against the increased competition that comes with being aired during the fall, but I could see it going back to its utility infielder role. Regardless, Season 3 was still fun in spite of its expanded format, and I do hope that there's room for it on our TV sets.


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