So, I just got home from the finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. Much to discuss.
First, a crew from MTV was on hand filming the show. Apparently this will serve as a potential pilot for an a cappella competition series. MTV signed a deal with Varsity Vocals, the organization behind the ICCAs. It's all official, in writing, etc. I wonder if this is the same show Mark Burnett was producing alongside MTV alum, Jesse Ignjatovic?
Anywho, before the competition began, a host from MTV, Adrienne Bailon (Wiki says she's one of Disney's Cheetah Girls) filmed intros for each group.
"Please welcome Ivy league's finest, the Dukesman!"
"Representing the heartland, here are the Beartones!"
"Give it up for the a cappella fratboys, Ithacapella!"
Well, as soon as Adrienne said: "Please welcome a cappella's underdogs, Fermata Nowhere," well, I was pretty sure I knew which group would win the competition. And they did. Come on! It was a storyline too good to resist. Fermata Nowhere, a community college group from California (singing a hip hop medley of Lady Gaga and Rhianna, no less) was up against established groups from Yale and Oxford? Come on! Community college! Lady Gaga! These guys perform in orange jumpsuits! That's damn good TV!
I have to say, I'm glad I wasn't a judge tonight. Because there was no clear winner. Fermata Nowhere was probably the most entertaining collegiate group, so I was happy to see them snag the title. I'll take entertainment value over perfect phrasing any day. They had good song choice. High energy. Acrobatics. (Seriously.) True, there were some rough spots with their first song (something not in English). But nothing some good old fashioned MTV editing can't fix!
Undoubtedly, there's a debate already raging over at RARB about who was robbed, and what influence MTV played in the decision tonight. (I'll call a judge-friend tomorrow to see what went on in the room.) The truth is, Who cares? The groups were basically indistinguishable from each other (we heard "Umbrella" three times; "Single Ladies" twice). If any single group had shown any real innovation, they could have walked away with it.
When I got bored, I just looked around, taking in every inch of Lincoln Center's new Alice Tulley Hall. The place is gorgeous. It'll look great on MTV.
More tomorrow on my night at the ICCA finals...