We Can’t Rewind We’ve Gone Too Far

*SPOILER ALERT*

In case you’ve been vacationing in the Alps this week, or hospitalized and in a coma, and you missed the season finale of The Sing-Off this past Monday, I’m here to tell you: PENTATONIX WON!!!  There has been no doubt in my mind for weeks now that they are the absolute best, but musical tastes are subjective, so it was with bated breath that I watched the last few minutes of the 2 hour-long final episode (in truth, I watched all 2 hours but one need only watch the last 30 seconds to get the point), hoping to have my own opinion confirmed.  And so it was.

Over the course of the season, Pentatonix consistently gave exceptionally riveting performances, with only a rare few that, while still quite good, did not completely blow me away.  Excluding those few, these are my favorites, listed from extremely good to impossibly perfect:

 

And the mother of all, probably one of the hardest songs in all 3 seasons to sing a cappella, done so ridonculously well…

I know I’ve talked incessantly about this group for the past few weeks (and rightfully so) but there were a great many others who gave outstanding performances.  Delilah gave not one, but two stand-out shows and the runner-up, The Dartmouth Aires, will probably be performing for us theater lovers on Broadway someday in the very near future.  I’m so glad Pentatonix won, but I’m sad I no longer have their Monday night excellence to look forward to every week. 😦

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

~Nikki

 

Stuck Still No Turning Back

It was a bit of a crazy week, what with the holiday and all, and there were reruns a plenty, something to be thankful for since it allowed me to catch up on the shows that have been piling up on my DVR.  Of all the series I regularly watch (way too many, by the way), these were the Best of The Best this week:

How To Make It In America: The Season 2 Finale aired this past Sunday and, though far from a perfect episode, it was one of the best of the season.  Ben finally realized that Yoshi is a hack, but not before inadvertently exposing his affair with Nancy – surprisingly not as big a deal as I expected.  He and Cam made up, which warmed the cockles of my heart.  (I love Cam.)  Rachel’s storyline has been weird all season and this episode was another odd installment.  Is she really going to work for the Neanderthal dude?  He’s Ben’s competition, for crying out loud.  First she slept with Domingo and now she’s taking a job from Ben’s rival.  Maybe she’s out for revenge or something.  If so, change it up, girlie.  Ben’s not quite taking the hint.  Regardless, it was a good season closer.  I’m looking forward to what’s next for these guys.  If for no other reason, this show is NYC eye candy like you’ve never seen.  Every episode makes me long to go back to the Big Apple.

The Sing-Off: OH MY GOD!!!!  Pentatonix KILLED it again this week!  If they don’t win this competition, I will swear off reality TV for good.  I literally can’t wait until they put out a CD so I could buy and memorize it.

Sons of Anarchy: Three words: Opie shot Clay!!  Holy mother of mayhem – this season is out of control!  Clay has been progressively turning into a villain all season and I’ve thought for some time now that he would either be dead or in prison before the season finished BUT SERIOUSLY – I can’t believe Opie shot him!  I’m so glad it was Opie, though, since Clay is entirely responsible for both Donna’s and Piney’s deaths.  If anybody deserved to shoot that bastard, it was Opie.  And Otto, oh Otto, you broke my heart.  (To be said like Michael Corleone after a full-on mouth-to-mouth smooch.)  Although, after Bobby read some of that list Otto wrote, I couldn’t hold it against him.  Cannot wait for the 2-part season finale!

Parenthood: This was not my favorite episode of the season BUT, I’m so, so, so insanely happy that Crosby and Jasmine have finally buried the hatchet and gotten back together…that is, if they’re back together for real.  It’s possible they just hooked up in a moment of weakness.  But I suspect they’ll give it another go and I am elated.  On a different note, I’m also glad that Adam didn’t fire Rachel.  She deserves a chance to redeem herself.  Christina, on the other hand, needs to dial down the crazy.  I totally get the jealousy and her insecurity -Rachel is damn near a goddess- but come on!  Adam adores you and is, like, the perfect dad and husband.  And he tolerates your insanity better than any other man (or woman) would!

Happy Endings: Again, not the best overall episode so far this year, but Max and Penny cracked me up this week.  Max is rapidly becoming my favorite character.  And how could he not with lines like this: “I hate kids.  And I’m not talking the type of hate that goes away after a series of zany misadventures where we grow to love each other.  I’m talking a blistering hate of them and their creepy tiny features.”

Did I miss anything…what impressed you the most this week?

~Nikki

Sing, Until Your Lungs Give Out

Reality television is an abomination.  Seriously.  It has single-handedly lowered the standard of watchable TV and dumbed-downed the masses in our society like nothing before it.  Needless to say, I watch none of it.  I am strongly opposed to ALL reality television shows SAVE ONE: The Sing-Off is the one and only piece of reality TV worth a damn.

For those of you in the dark, The Sing-Off is a singing competition in which various groups perform a cappella for 3 judges – Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman and Sara Bareilles – and a live audience.  One group is nicked from the competition each week until one final winner remains.  The winner gets some abundant sum of cash and a record deal.  Unlike American Idol, the judges decide who leaves each week, making this a real competition and not merely a popularity contest.  I stopped watching AI years ago because it became little more than a contest ruled by the whims of America’s 11 year-olds, as opposed to the contestants’ actual talent.  The Sing-Off involves more than just singing.  Each week, each group chooses the song they’ll sing, the arrangement of said song, their choreography and, true to a cappella, not a single instrument is used during any performance.  Their voices are their only instruments, effectively keeping this show a competition in which genuine talent reigns.

Making it even better, the judges usually have valuable things to say.  I have yet to hear a Sara Bareilles song that I like, but after watching her as a judge this season, I really do like her.  She’s charming and funny and seems truly smart, a refreshing change from the abstract meanderings of Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger (I haven’t watched American Idol in years, so I can say nothing of Ellen or J. Lo.).  Ben Folds is genius (and adorable) and, being the long-time Boyz II Men fan that I have been since I was 11 or so, Shawn Stockman is near and dear to my heart.

The real reason to watch, however, is the music.  A cappella is an art within an art and these insanely talented groups bring the house down week after week.  All the groups are good.  Really good.  Most are great.  Nearly all have a mediocre performance here or there and nearly all give an exceptionally outstanding performance here and there.  What makes the winner is consistency.  Which group consistently nails their performances, one after another.

This season, my prediction (and sincere hope) is that Pentatonix, who blows my mind every fucking week, will win it all.  Here’s why.

Go ahead.  Tell me I’m wrong.  I dare you.

-N.