Tonight, NBC aired the live finale of their four-episode singing special, The Sing Off. The competition featured various a cappella groups as they battled it out, showing off their vocal skills. It came down to three groups and after America voted, one group took home the final prize.

Normally, I consider the bloated, two-hour finales that often complete these types of singing competitions to be a whole lot of filler with one, grand final moment to cap it off and The Sing-Off was no exception in that respect. That said, as the series only consisted of three performance episodes (with eliminations sprinkled into the mix), tonight’s finale felt more like a fun, music special, complete with musical performances, a holiday tune and of course, the final results.

The competition came down to two all-male groups (Beelzebubs and Nota) and one co-ed group (Voices of Lee). Beelzebubs and Nota were the strongest of the three groups, so it seemed fitting that they would make it to the final two. In the end, it was the Puerto Rican group Nota that took home the final prize, though I suspect those boys from Tufts University will return to Massachusetts to welcoming arms. (The school’s website currently has their photo posted on the front page).

Results aside, the finale included performances by Smokey Robinson, Boyz II Men, Bobby McFerrin, Nicole Scherzinger, Natasha Bedingfield and my personal favorite (and initial reason for watching this show), Ben Folds. All but Boyz II Men were accompanied by one or more of the three final groups in the competition. Nick Lachey took the mic as well, singing “Christmas: Baby Please Come Home” with all three groups and proving that despite the dorky sweater and tie get-up he had on, he can still sing like a boy-bander.

Congrats to Nota for a well deserved win. And, since Ben Fold’s refrained from shamelessly promoting the a capella album he produced earlier this year (I think he might have referenced it once tonight), I’m going to do it right now. As I’ve been a fan of Ben Folds since Whatever and Ever, Amen, I usually stay up to date on his latest musical projects, however University A Cappella escaped my attention prior to The Sing-Off airing. I’ve since downloaded the album from iTunes and it’s fantastic. All of the groups involved (from various universities across the country) add something new and unique to Ben’s songs. If The Sing-Off helped you discover a cappella music (or inspired you to appreciate it more), I definitely recommend checking out University A Cappella. And, if you’re a Ben Folds fan, getting to hear the a cappella versions of some of his greatest songs is like hearing the music for the first time, all over again.

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