Motown legend Smokey Robinson joined Afro-Blue on the "Sing-Off" stage (Lewis Jacobs/NBC)
All the theatrics led up to the announcement we've been waiting for: Based on home viewer votes, Pentatonix, cutting-edge mix masters from Texas, are "The Sing-Off's" Season 2 champions and winners of the $200,000 prize and Sony Music recording contract! They beat out irrepressible Ivy Leaguers the Dartmouth Aires and "rapappella" inventors Urban Method -- stiff competition indeed. Pentatonix, known for a futuristic techno style and risky, modern arrangements, proved that not only are they superb vocalists, but also genius musicians -- and well deserving of "The Sing-Off" crown.
The big reveal was thrilling, but the exciting array of high-energy performances leading up to it were what kept us glued to our TVs. Here are the finale's top five moments:
(5) Smokey Robinson and Afro-Blue, "You've Really Got a Hold on Me"
Afro-Blue got the ultimate condolence prize for getting booted last week -- the once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform with the legendary Smokey Robinson, who took over the lead vocals on his hit song. Afro-Blue's sophisticated, timeless sound backed the surprise visitor up perfectly, and the performance was an unexpected treat for viewers.
(4) Pentatonix and Nick Lachey, "Give Me One More Night (Una Noche)"
We loved this performance not only because it featured our champions, Pentatonix, but also because we had almost forgotten that host Nick Lachey is a singer, and an excellent one at that. This nostalgic a cappella arrangement of the classic 98 Degrees hit took us right back to the boy band era, and made us wonder what happened to Nick's career! Nick poked fun at himself by offering to tour with Pentatonix after the show.
(3) Ben Folds and the Dartmouth Aires, "Not the Same"
Boyish musical mastermind Ben Folds and the playful Dartmouth Aires teamed up for a performance that couldn't have been more adorable. Ben proved that he deserves his judge's seat by leading the entire audience in a three-part harmony before launching into his quintessential hit, "Not the Same." We couldn't help wishing he had played the piano -- but this is a cappella, after all.
(2) Sara Bareilles and Urban Method, "Gonna Get Over You"
Sara gave Ben and Nick a run for their money by taking the lead in her sweet, whimsical song, flanked effortlessly by Urban Method, who spiced up the tune with some rap accents. She channeled her music video for the song by dressing in a 1950s prom getup with high-top sneakers. We were reminded why we love this smart, talented star.
(1) Pentatonix, Urban Method, and the Dartmouth Aires, "The Way You Make Me Feel"
This sweeping, energetic group number tugged on our heartstrings as the three remaining ensembles came together for the last time to re-interpret the Michael Jackson hit. All of our favorite soloists stepped forward to show off their vocal chops, and any competitive spirit seemed to have dissolved. Mike from Urban Method seamlessly fit in a rap, and we're always happy to see superstar Michael from the Aires open up a number.
There were other memorable moments from the live finale, including short performances by some of the eliminated groups and an uplifting sequence where each of the final three paired up with a charity to perform and volunteer. If you're already jonesing for more "Sing-Off," never fear -- "A Sing-Off Christmas" airs next Monday! Groups from all three seasons of the show will return to perform, along with our judges and rapper Flo Rida. We anticipate festive matching outfits, cheery harmonies, and countless reimagined carols -- what more could you want to kick off the holiday season?
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- Nick Lachey
- Smokey Robinson