The Backbeats and Sara Bareilles sing King of Anything on The Sing-Off.
NBC’s increasingly watchable a cappella competition The Sing-Off ends its second beat-box-bedecked season tonight with a roster of appropriately non-cutting-edge guests (Sheryl Crow, Neil Diamond, Sara Bareilles, and Boyz II Men will all perform). But the real focus will be on the roster of groups narrowed down to tonight’s final four and the judges' commentary. Thanks to Ben Folds, Nicole Scherzinger, and Shawn Stockman, we’ve been able to count on a few consistent things from week to week (something we can't claim in this season of Glee): Folds will say something complex and intelligent about music; Scherzinger will use multiple accents and say something dreamy and confusing; and Stockman will impress us with a combination of charm and insight, and will probably name-drop a couple of times. But not to be out-judged, we decided to weigh in with our favorites and least favorites from the closing season before the victors are announced.
BEST PERFORMANCE: On the Rocks, “Kyrie”
In a crowded field, their "guilty pleasure" pick was the song that literally gave us chills. Even the judges admitted that the combination of lead Peter Hollens’s dead-on vocals (it felt like Mr. Mister was right there!) and the group’s suddenly present artistry in the background voicing added up to a chill-inducing performance. Or, as Shawn poetically put it, “I felt like I sprouted wings and flew over the Grand Canyon and just looked at deer … and trees … and birds and … other birds.”
Runners-up: Street Corner Symphony’s smooth tempo-navigating “Come On Eileen;” the Backbeats Über-fun take on “Love Shack.”