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The Sing-Off

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Well, aca-people, another season of “The Sing-Off” has come and gone, and there’s a new a cappella winner. And I, for one, am very happy with the results of the Season 4 Finally—er, finale.

Tonight’s show has lots of filler (as all the episodes have), and additional performances from the Final 3 groups (Ten, Home Free, and Vocal Rush), the judges, and even a few special guests. Host Nick Lachey sings twice, once with judge Jewel and once with his former boy band, 98 Degrees,

Pentatonix returns to gloat show the others how it’s done, and Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo stop by to sing her big hit “We Belong.” We also learn a little bit about a cappella vocabulary, and the judges and Nick give us a peek at their Secret Santa gift exchange—which is funny in spite of itself. And happily, not all the performances tonight are of Christmas music.

Here are my Top 5 performances from “The Sing-Off” Finale:

Company, Man in the Mirror: The evening kicks off with a beautiful arrangement of Michael Jackson’s classic, sung by the company. It’s always easy with a great song, but this version is lovely and sweet, with beautiful harmonies and stellar execution. Moving.

Pentatonix, I Need Your Love: Last year’s big winner returns to give the finalists some advice, and sing a new song. I love this group so much, and this performance doesn’t disappoint. They put themselves in all their arrangements, and their voices are unique while blending at the same time. They always know how to reach those emotional highs, even with upbeat songs.

Home Free, I Want Crazy: Yes, I’m sure you could all see this choice coming, since I’ve yet to leave them out of my Top picks. I’ve been clear about how I feel about these guys from the start, and they still deserve to be at the top. Yes, bassist Tim is almost using his trick of hitting those devastatingly low notes too much, but he’s still amazing, and I love Adam’s vocal percussion, especially the scratching. They are the band to beat, and I’m gonna be very annoyed if by some ludicrous chance they don’t win.

Vocal Rush with Ben Folds, Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth: A beautiful song and a truly lovely performance. While I would like to have heard more of Ben’s voice, he definitely knows how to blend. In fact, I really appreciate that he allows Vocal Rush to shine, collaborating with them and giving them solos instead of just having them back him up, as Jewel did with Home Free and Shawn did with Ten. Beautiful.

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, We Belong: Pat, darling, where have you been? This is a great song, so it’s hard to screw it up, but the company sound wonderful, and I’m even impressed with Benatar. Her voice has gotten darker and a little rougher over the years, but she still sounds pretty good, especially considering I’ve no idea where she’s been the last couple decades. Nice.

Finally they finally announce the winner. Vocal Rush, the first high school group ever to make it to the finale, come in third place, while the backup gospel singers-formed-new-ensemble Ten come in second. Home Free, of course, takes the trophy. And all is right with the world.

What did you think, aca-peeps? Were you pulling for Home Free too? Are you happy with the results? Any plans to do your own a cappella caroling over the holidays? “Chime” in below, and thanks for reading along with me for this season of “The Sing-Off”! Wonderful holiday wishes to all!

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