I thought Bareilles did a great job last season but clearly the key thing is keeping Ben Folds.
This does not solve what I see as the essential problem with the show: the enthusiasm gap. Part of the reason why a show like SYTYCD works is that the judges are just SO enthusiastic about the product. Mary and Nigel weren't household names before the show started, but their expertise and enthusiasm for the art of dance made people love them. And while not all of the guest judges have been experts, per se, in dance, they have all been incredibly enthusiastic about it. The Sing-Off has approached this in an entirely different way - relying on judges they *think* will attract people to the show. No one is ever that enthusiastic about a cappella itself, more about singing in general, and that's not selling the product. I think there should have been a judge on the panel - a non-famous judge if you will - that was an actual expert in a cappella. That person could have bridged that enthusiasm gap from singing to a cappella, and made people understand exactly what is interesting about the art form itself.Part II of this argument is the setup of the show. With Idol/SYTYCD/etc we get a few audition episodes to introduce us to dancers/singers, build audience equity with them, and get familiar. The Sing-Off asks us to just jump in and love groups. Easy for me to do as I usually know a bunch of people in each competing group, but much more difficult for the general public to get invested. Pentatonix has done a great job of maintaining the buzz they got from winning Season 3, but when was the last time you heard from Nota? It's hard to continue to build up your fan base as an artist when you've only been given 5 short episodes in which to do it.In conclusion, I'm annoyed by the choice of Jewel - who arguably peaked in 1998 - as a judge, because I sincerely doubt that she will bring any additional audience or any specialized a cappella knowledge to a show that desperately needs both.
My daughter's arts camp just did a sign language performance of "Brave" and I can't get it out of my head.
I have to say, I really don't agree with this. My sense with the judges on the Sing-Off (Nicole S. being a notable exception) is that they have chosen people who are knowledgeable and enthused about a cappella. I agree that the judges on SYTYCD are really knowledgeable and enthused about dance, which is a strength of the show. But the screaming ultimately made my husband just not able to tolerate it. So I'm pretty happy with a set of judges who seem to know what they're talking about while not, you know, screaming.
I admit that I have a huge bias as I...work in a cappella. And yes, the judges other than Nicole up to this point have at least had exposure to a cappella (Sara even sang in a group at UCLA.) But my problem is that this enthusiasm isn't communicated to the audience effectively, and that's a big part of why I don't think the show did as well as it could.
I'm actually kind of surprised that NBC didn't try to get someone from Pitch Perfect for the last slot. They already have two folks who know singing from a technical standpoint in Folds and Stockman, so why not a Elizabeth Banks or Anna Camp for the third chair? (Rebel Wilson and Kendrick can't do it, and Brittany Snow is under contract to Fox.)
Jewel was great on "Platinum Hit" -- for that matter, the tag-team of her and Kara Dioguardi is something I'd watch a show about something I didn't care about for.
Glad to hear it, because my first reaction to this was "Ugh."