There is a case to be made that Voices of Lee, the lone mixed group left in The Sing-Off, deserve to walk away as the competition’s big winners.
First and foremost, the men and women in this group have quite arguably presented the best musicality of any of the remaining groups. They have been in tune, and have had good blend. Their soloists are strong. In a competition that is supposed to be about a cappella music this group has asserted itself as the pure musician’s choice to get a recording contract.
On the note of the recording contract, I would argue that Voices of Lee have the best chance of transcending the post-production, auto-tuning jamboree that is otherwise likely to follow for whoever emerges as the winning group. While I doubt they’ll avoid production effects altogether, I do think there’s a reasonable chance that this is the group whose music Sony might record and release with the least tampering, which I think is good for protecting the natural art of a cappella in general.
One of the remarkable things about Voices of Lee’s musicality is the fact that the group has accomplished what it has without the benefit of its faculty director. You might respond, ‘the other groups don’t have professional directors, either,’ but the difference as that Voices of Lee does traditionally have someone in their corner, and so, the fact that they’ve successfully made this transition to managing themselves for this competition is really impressive. On a related point, I would contend that Voices of Lee is the lone group to truly show consistent improvement over the course of this show. They have adjusted to the format, shaken the nerves, and clearly developed some internal leadership to guide them over the three nights. All of this embodies the purest spirit of a competitive reality TV show—the group is actually evolving before our eyes, and that’s a joy to behold.
Despite evolving, the group has also managed to retain a unique sense of self, and a sense of self that is music-centric. Compare them to the rest of the final four. The recently eliminated SoCals turned themselves completely over to their musical theatre gimmick, emphasizing elaborate staging and implying romantic relationships between soloists over musicality. The ‘Bubs, as tight as they have generally been, have also been every bit as much showmen—simulating buses and boats, giving Nicole Scherzinger flowers to assert themselves as nice. When all else fails, and they don’t know what to do, Nota has fallen back on Latin grooves that, while generally good, have grown predictable and, in just three nights, a bit tired. By not sidling itself with any of these sorts of distractions, Voices of Lee has centered itself on music, and the case can be made that the truest musicians left on the show deserve their reward.
In the days to follow, I will be making the case for each of The Sing-Off's three finalist groups, before announcing my official endorsement for who should really emerge as the winners.