As a rule, I generally don’t watch reality TV shows anymore. They all ‘jumped the shark’ a long time ago in my view. But last night, my baby boy wouldn’t go to sleep and the only thing that was of any interest on TV was The Sing-off, hosted by Nick Lachey. The Sing-off is a singing contest where all the groups must perform a selected song and deliver it in a capella. The show itself possesses the basic formula for any reality contest: erstwhile unknown (and very witty) English guy (Bob, from ?)- check. Racially ambiguous female hottie (Nicole, from the Pussycat Dolls) – check. A Black male notable 90’s musical icon (Shawn, from Boyz II Men) – check. White guy with messy bed-hair to host said show – check and double check.
I settled in and listened to a few groups perform. There was an old school style performance by a group called Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town. This group’s story was particularly heartwarming because Jerry Lawson has been singing for the last 40 years and is making a “come back” of sorts. Another group called The Backbeats sang a sweet love ballad called Falling to Pieces. Somewhere along the line, one of the groups from four was eliminated (who it was escapes me, because hitherto I had no vested interest in anyone on the show) and sang a ‘swan song’, marking their departure.
I thought the show was over, until Lachey introduced another a capella group called Committed, a gospel group of 6 men from Huntsville, Alabama who make “no apology for their gospel influenced style of singing.” Tonight, they would be singing Apologize by One Republic. If you’ve ridden an elevator or gone grocery shopping in a swanky urban store in the last year, you’ve heard the song. I like the hook of that song. Nice song.
When I tell you that these boys “kilt” that song? From the first note to the last, I had goose bumps. They sang the song the way it was meant to be sung: with passion, and pain, and longing, and forgiveness, and wounding, and earnest intensity, and betrayal, and dismissal – because you know what? You’ve hurt me enough times that an “I’m sorry” isn’t going to fix it this time. It’s too late to apologize!
I was speechless. How do you judge mere perfection?! Even the witty English guy was at a loss for words – and rarely are the English rendered speechless.
I’ve inserted the video for your viewing pleasure
When Shawn finally got a hold of himself to deliver his verdict, he said it reminded him of his high school days when he used to perform with a group of 75 ‘blowers’. He was right. I was instantly transported back to the mid 90’s when I too was coming of age; back to the days of Shai and Silk and yes, Boys II Men. In the days when people actually sang, and a good song didn’t rely on autotune for its success. When R&B was raw, and real and soulful. Do you remember?
The moment was almost ruined by Nicole Scherzinger, whose grasp and delivery of the English language bears the verbal equivalent of an oversexed, remedial 10 year old. She said she had a ‘musical climax’ during the performance. Ugh. Is that all you could muster for such beauty? For a performance that was delivered 1000 times better than the original??
Let’s not let her ASSinine decree be the last thing you remember about Committed, who now have a faithful and committed supporter in ME! Here’s the video again. 🙂