Monday, November 7, 2011

Sing-off does more than Queen medley

Media Moment: The Sing-off 
Queen-related: Queen medley

Ever since the classic MTV reality series Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica went off the air in 2005, I’ve been so despondent that I can’t bare to watch Nick Lachey in anything else. So it wasn’t my intention when I unknowingly caught him as the host of The Sing-off the other night. I was hoping to catch a Queen reference during the reality show and got more than I expected. 

I fast-forwarded through Nick’s hosting duties and the preamble that led up to the actual performance of each team so I could test my theory about Queen being one of the chosen artists for a medley of their songs. I had to get to almost the mid-way point of the two-hour show before I stopped fast-forwarding a few seconds into the Dartmouth Aires set. I pressed play and heard the unmistakable lyrics of Killer Queen

There it is, I thought to myself. 

I rewound back to Lachey’s intro for this group so I could catch the footage of their rehearsal. Maybe I’d hear some further Queen references. Sure enough, a few of the members mentioned being huge Queen fans. One singer, in particular, stated that he grew up listening to Freddie due to his mother’s obsession. Interesting, coming from a predominantly R&B vocalist.

The group started with Killer Queen and then segued into the operatic section of Bohemian Rhapsody, and followed that with the last minute or so of Somebody To Love. I don’t know whether KQ added much to the performance but their rendition of BoRhap’s multilayered middle section was actually pretty good. One guy even nailed the high bits that Roger does in the original.

Rounding out the set list with STL gave them a strong finish as well. The dude that acknowledged Freddie as an influence in the rehearsal footage made the song his own and had a slightly different arrangement for the end solo (see right photo). All of the judges felt the group’s performance was remarkable given the complexity of the original material. The lone female judge, Sara Bareilles, claimed she was a huge Queen fan herself and thought their did the songs proud. (The fact that she’s associated with Maroon 5, whose lead singer did a Queen medley on The Voice a few months ago, probably speaks to that connection.)

There have been a couple of other Queen covers on The Sing-off. Here’s a run-down:
Season One: Under Pressure (opening song), Somebody To Love
Season Two: We Are The Champions (victory song)
Season Three: Queen medley (Killer Queen / Bohemian Rhapsody / Somebody To Love)

As an aside, I think Freddie is being channeled through more than the Dartmouth Aires. A quick glance through the group names made me wonder what’s really going on: Delilah (really?). Beelzebubs (hmmm). Or what about The Yellow Jackets? Surely that group wouldn’t have gotten punted at the end of this episode if they had all been wearing Freddie’s Magic Tour jacket.

The season’s not over yet, so maybe there’ll be more Queen to come.


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