NPR logo 'The Sing-Off': The One Show A Cappella Nerds See In Heaven


'The Sing-Off': The One Show A Cappella Nerds See In Heaven

I predict you will either thrill to the above clip or immediately hide under your desk.

The success of Glee has convinced NBC that it's the right time for a four-night a cappella competition called The Sing-Off, which starts tonight. A cappella singing is one of those things — like marmite, actually — that is loved by its fans as ardently as it is despised by its enemies.

Most people, I think, have gotten most of their exposure in college, where this activity is still surprisingly vibrant and aggressively, proudly corny (Ed Helms and I participated at the same alma mater, where he was in this group and I was in this one, though not at the same time). Several of the competitors on The Sing-Off are college groups, but some aren't — including the Baltimore moms who make a very refreshing appearance in this video.

My favorite thing about this competition, however, is that one of the judges is Ben Folds, who does lots of wacky audience participation stuff and seems perfectly suited to this — and who also put out an album of his own stuff being performed by college groups, and therefore comes to it with some honest interest.

At the risk of revealing yet another kind of nerd I am, I will be watching.