I was a fan first.
By now you’ve probably heard the news that NBC has decided not to pick up "The Sing-Off" for a fourth season. As an employee of the show (or I guess now, former employee!), this is obviously bad news.
But it’s worse news for me as a fan.
The fact that a cappella music stands lose ~4.5 million viewers per week is an awful thought.
The fact that talent the likes of Pentatonix, Committed, and Nota will no longer have a national stage makes my stomach turn.
The fact that people’s access to vocal harmony will be in any way diminished pisses me off.
I remember hearing in 2009 that NBC had picked up a show that was to feature competitive a cappella music in a reality-type setting. This was my senior year of college, and Ithacappella had just taken part in the infamous MTV debacle the previous year at the ICCA finals (MTV interviewers asked us: “do you guys do stuff with tempos?”). Needless to say, I had low expectations for how a cappella would be portrayed.
Then something weird happened. I turned on my TV, and by gosh I liked what I saw. What those folks were doing up there was what I was doing, or at least what I aspired to do. It was Contemporary A Cappella the way that I knew it. The spirit of the thing was collaboration and musicality, certainly not devoid of TV drama, but with an emphasis on the thing that was most important to me about a cappella: the music!
My friends and I would come back from rehearsal to watch "The Sing-Off", and our running joke was that every episode was “the series finale.” But it wasn’t. Somehow (and at the time it seemed against all odds), "The Sing-Off" actually thrived. People saw the same thing that I did – the same thing that draws everyone to this music – that heart, passion, and sense of community that comes hand-in-hand with singing together.
Over the next two seasons, the show continued to fine-tune itself, but the focus remained on the heart and joy of singing. When I came aboard as an arranger at the beginning of season 3, I stepped into a world where competition and spectacle took a backseat to community and honest music making. In the words of Deke Sharon, “don’t think of this show as a competition. Think of it as a weekly 2 hour showcase for a cappella music.”
So now that stage, that showcase, is in danger. Luckily if there’s one thing we always have, it’s a voice.
Join us in getting the word out on social media! You can:
1) Tweet with the #SaveTheSingOff tag. Share your favorite videos from all the seasons, or simply help us get it trending.
2) Sign this petition and leave a comment to show your support for the show! http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-the-sing-off/
3) Share all of these things on Facebook, and with anyone who will listen.
4) Get creative! Make videos, memes, anything at all to show that you want to keep "The Sing-Off" around.
The movement is gaining traction because people see what I see: just how important and awesome this music is!
It has been an honor to be part of "The Sing-Off" and to help keep a cappella music steadily streaming into America’s homes once a week for two hours. With your help, maybe we can keep the music going just a bit longer!
on the web: www.savethesingoff.com
on Twitter: @SaveTheSingOff
on Facebook: www.facebook.com/savesingoff?ref=ts