[According to scuttlebutt, NBC pulled in a few sound people that are big in a cappella circles to make what was supposed to be a throw-away talent show a little shinier because, as it turns out, the ratings were surprisingly good for the relatively small price tag attached.]
And can I just say: What a nice, feel good show! With the sole exception of Noteworthy's so-obvious-everyone's-remarking-on-it entitlement issues, all of the groups genuinely seemed to be having a good time and seemed to be genuinely supportive of each other, complete with rounds of hugs.
In any case, I think everyone going into the live show pretty much knew NOTA was going to be crowned. I called them the winners during the opening night, in large part because they do Latin-flavored pop very well, they were better than most of the other groups on the stage, and a lot of their weaknesses can be overcome via technology in the recording booth and improvements in their stage show for live performances.
And unlike some people on the NBC boards (and a couple of other chat boards I've poked my nose into), I think NOTA won the popular vote fair and square for those reasons.
(Note to my geography-challenged fellow Americans on the various chat boards I've poked my nose into: Puerto Rico is a protectorate of the United States, which means that Puerto Ricans are Americans citizens, which also means that the members of NOTA are Americans. They are not "foreigners", nor are they "illegals", nor do they need "green cards". In short: Die in a fire, you racist asswipes.)
I definitely didn't get the impression that the Tufts Beelzebubs (My homies came in second! Go 'Bubs!) were in the least bit shocked that the NOTA won. Besides, 'Bubs (and Voices of Lee) would've been looking at a fuckload of headdaches if they won the Sony contract (they were planning to split the money if they won). Does it go to the group that performed on stage? The a cappella groups as a student organizations where the membership changes year in and year out? To the universities these groups are associated with?
So, not only do I think the right group won on talent, I would also say that the right group won on "ease of dealing with the legal world of Sony for the recording contract". As a bonus, both the 'Bubs and Voices of Lee got a fantastic shot in the arm publicity-wise and financially, since a lot of people were on the boards asking for CD recommendations. Both groups will be fine,
In other news, I was shocked to spot celebrities in the audience:
- Harry Connick Jr.
- Masi Oka (aka Hiro of Heroes). As it turns out was the musical director of Brown University's all-male a cappella group The Bear Necessities when he was an undergrad student at Brown. I don't know why that makes me happy to know, but it does.
- Jack Black. Or at least someone who looked a lot like him.
- Peter Gallaggher of The OC. Turns out that he's a Tufts Beelzebubs alumni, which explains why he was sitting in the 'Bubs cheering section. Heh.
I also saw that the SoCals stuck around, and were clapping and cheering for the three finalists in the audience, which was really nice to see.
While there were parts of last night's show that I did fast-forward through (thank you DVR!), there was plenty I watched.
Put me on the list of people who'd like to see this show pop up again next year.
In the meantime, here's a video capture from the Sing-Off of the 'Bubs singing their melody of The Who from the second night: