season 3 finale may have been 110 minutes of filler and 10 minutes of results, but at least it was smile-inducing, soul-lifting, toe-tapping filler.
In between performances by the final three groups
-- the Dartmouth Aires, Urban Method and Pentatonix -- we learned about each group's charity efforts, and heard reunion songs by the male and female members of the Sing-Off
Top 10 acts. Judges Sara Bareilles and Ben Folds and host Nick Lachey also got in on the fun, taking turns performing medleys with the final groups. (Nick Lachey singing 98 Degrees with Pentatonix? Equal parts awesome and hilarious. It was a nice reminder that he's better at singing than hosting.) Plus, no big deal, the legendary Smokey Robinson popped in for a spell, as did rapper Flo Rida.
If the show had stopped there, you might have thought you were watching an NBC holiday special about the emotional and cultural power of a cappella. (But no, because that airs next Monday, and it's called The Sing-Off Christmas
special, and it's not a joke! It is a real thing that is happening!)
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But back to tonight, and tonight's results.
Urban Method represented "determination," said judge Shawn Stockman, who admitted to getting choked up over their progress. Sara Bareilles told the Darthmouth Aires, "I want to see you all on Broadway, like, tomorrow." And Ben Folds raved of Pentatonix that they have "the potential to take a cappella into the mainstream."
After all that high praise, and an hour and a half of enjoyable vocal performances, it was
time to break some hearts.
First, Urban Method learned that America turned in the fewest number of
votes for them, but left with smiles during their swan song.
And so it came down to the Darthmouth Aires and
Pentatonix. And the winner of The Sing-Off
season 3 is...
They win $200,000 (split only five ways? Not bad!) and a recording contract.
Of all the groups, I'd say Pentatonix definitely embodied the best of what the judges said they were looking for: Creativity, vocal ability, performance prowess and an amazing, recognizable sound that would be great whether it's coming from the stage or the radio. Ben said Pentatonix had the potential to take a cappella into the mainstream -- now, thanks to their record deal, they have that chance.
What do you think of the new Sing-Off
(Image courtesy of NBC)