Baylor groups SING their way to the top
By Rob Bradfield
Assistant City Editor
I’ve seen a lot of Sing acts — 6 or 7 years’ worth of them to be precise. I have a very strong idea about what makes a “good” Sing act. I look at song choice, creativity, story, execution and, to an extent, cleverness. I appreciate novelty and new-ness, as well as risk-taking. I’m going to try to reward acts when they are good, but I’m not going to hesitate to criticize them when they miss opportunities (or notes during a solo). This year, we will be working on a 5-point-scale. A 5 is near perfection and a 1 is barely showing up. Since Chamber is actually competing this year, no zeroes will be given.
Phi Kappa Chi
When the Lights Go Out
Phi Kappa Chi took the audience on an above average rehash of the “Night at the Museum” film series.
Above average seems the best way to describe this group. The vocals were solid, the choreography was okay, but there wasn’t enough “pop” to really set the group apart. On top of that, the funk song mid-way trough was a little odd. On the whole, the biggest disappointment though was that the high level of performance they had during the final song, Party Rock Anthem, didn’t really show up in the rest of the act.
Kappa Alpha Theta
Going for the Gold
I’m going to use this time to state one of my biggest beefs with Sing performances — only using the front part of the stage to sing.
With a theme like the Olympics, the ladies of Kappa Alpha Theta could have been a lot more creative in their staging.
The tumblers do, however, deserve the lion’s share of credit for making this act stand out. Apart from that, nothing really set them out from the pack. Also, it was difficult to keep an accurate count, but I’m pretty sure only about 6 people sang in the whole thing. Although there weren’t too many problems, the whole thing felt average. Better luck next year.
Delta Tau Delta
The Final Frontier
Until I saw Delta Tau Delta’s performance, I had no idea that “The Final Countdown” had words. Now I know there’s a reason nobody ever sings the words.
I’m also not sure if the astronaut with his collar unbuttoned was supposed to look drunk, but if he was, the illusion was perfect.
The scant moments of humor were appreciated, but on the whole the act took itself to seriously and was too rough around the edges to be very good.
Also “We Can Work It Out” is a pretty transparent song choice for a scene about reconciliation. I did enjoy the “Rocket Man” bit, though.
Pi Beta Phi
This act started as well as any act like this can.
I actually briefly enjoyed the incredibly unenjoyable experience of being crammed on a tour bus full of tacky people.
But unfortunately it lagged after the first song. I thought the beginning harmonies were good, but after that nothing really wowed me until “Land of 1000 Dances.”
The choreography there was great, and the solo dancer was the most memorable part of the act.
On the songs before that, however, the dancing was a little sloppy. That would be forgivable if the choreography look particularly complex, but — even if it was — it didn’t. Nothing that I saw made me think that this was anything other than an average Sing Act.
Alpha Tau Omega
“Flirtin” with Disaster
ATO’s act is an act of contradictions. I don’t think they know what the song “Poker Face” is actually about, but I thought they nailed “Ballroom Blitz.” I didn’t like most of the singing, but I thought everything fit well. Sometimes the dancing was absolute chaos and sometimes they nailed it. I have to give it an average score because I’m convinced that it could have been better, but I’m not sure it would have felt right if it were flawless. Either way, piano-man and barrel-dude deserve some mad props. Also I hope that one guy’s nose gets better. Keep rockin’ ATO!
Kappa Chi Alpha/Beta Upsilon Chi
Road to the Races
If my judging was based on the first minute of each act, Kappa Chi Alpha and Beta Upsilon Chi would be my favorite. I thought the opening was great, definitely the best harmonies out of the whole show.
Unfortunately it seems like those people had an unfortunate accident after their part in the act and couldn’t return to stage for the rest of it. This is, as I said, very unfortunate because if the act had continued from that high note or gotten better it would have been among the top acts.
Congratulations to the BYX on their first sing, though. You guys looked sharp, just don’t go to Derby Day without a hat or jacket next time.
Chi Omega/Phi Gamma Delta
This act is basically what I mean whenever I say creativity.
The opening song choice was absolutely stellar, and it wasn’t even the high point of the show.
The act loses points on execution in the middle, and the “You Really Got Me” crossover didn’t quite work like it was intended, but it was a bold choice.
What really made the act was the final song “Footloose,” which is quite a thing for me to say since I hate Kevin Bacon. However, it had some dynamite choreography and probably the best trio of the night. I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed the vocals on the last number.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon
The Secret Service
With SAE, it’s all about the little things.
The fact that they’re all wearing Baylor socks with their suits and short shorts, the giant, crying Bald Eagle with an American flag painted in it’s eyes, the presidential fight scene and the two-stepping were all just perfect.
That’s even before the act starts to get really funny. The act is supremely weird and just about the funniest thing I’ve seen all year. The whole time I didn’t know whether or not to laugh or shout “MURICA” at the top of my lungs. To quote the poet “It’s like George Washington marching down your throat to fight the Redcoats and the British.”
These five stars are essentially meaningless, but here you go.
Chamber of Commerce
Workin’ For the Honey
Really Chamber? Really? I’m a “B?” That’s the best you could come up with? Did you think it was clever? It wasn’t. The sad part is that that was probably the best dancing in the whole act right there. The two best parts of the show were the fact that we didn’t have to suffer through another rendition of “Welcome to All-University Sing” and the fact that everyone died at the end. No, honestly I thought that was a clever touch. It was also very satisfying, but it was a clever touch. If you want to compete with the big dogs, Chamber, you should expect to get bitten every now and then.
Kappa Kappa Gamma
Topsy Turvy Day
I liked this act, but I’m not going to pretend I understood it. If I had to guess I’d have to say that it was about Diadeloso, but I can’t be sure. Other than that, the vocals were good, the choreography was fantastic, and I really enjoyed the performances by the two head clowns. My only issue was that I had no idea what was going on, but I have a feeling that it was kind of meant to be that way.
Alpha Delta Pi
Ultimate Grand Supreme
I cannot lie, this is the most competitive I’ve see ADPi in a long time. Between the little cowgirl with the massive voice and the girl that sang “Dancing Queen,” they had some of the finest vocals of the entire night. If it had maintained that level of excellence the whole time, it would have been one of the best acts. As it stand, they will have to settle for top of the middle.
Kappa Omega Tau
The Ghosts’ Call
This act absolutely blew me away. From the first second it’s mesmerizing.
The spot on choreography, the consistently good male vocals and the daring acrobatics really put the whole act together for me.
When I first saw the makeup, I was excited for perhaps a similar act to last year’s “Zombies” act by Pi Kapp. What I got was both completely different and infinitely better. It had nearly everything I look for in a great Sing act.
Congratulations KOT, if there is any justice in this world you’re set for a top spot.
Delta Delta Delta
Tri-Delta’s chess-themed act was incredibly colorful, in spite of the fact that everyone was wearing black and white. The song choice was solid, the choreography was sharp and the act brought out a lot of the inherent drama that often escapes casual observers of chess matches. I especially liked the big, instrumental dance number and the vocalists on “Black Horse and Cherry Tree.” Unfortunately, all of this act’s strength centered on group talent and sometimes a strong individual performance is what makes an act truly great.
Pi Kappa Phi
I was a little disappointed with Pi Kapp’s performance this year. Instead of something original and exciting, it was standard and poorly executed. It felt like the guys on stage spent more time at the gym preparing for the act than in rehearsal. Most of them looked the part, but the whole thing wasn’t sharp enough. Also, in a singing and dancing competition you cannot blow the intro on a song and expect not to get a point deducted. I didn’t entirely hate it, but it could have been a lot better.
Zeta Tau Alpha
“Old Familiar Places”
Zeta’s performance was absolutely heartwarming. When you do these sorts of obvious plays to the heart-strings of every alum in the audience, there’s a danger that you will overdo it and cross the border into sappiness. Zeta didn’t, fortunately. Instead it was a charming tribute to all the memories we will collect at Baylor and beyond. The choreography was also very sharp when I was watching, but to be honest I didn’t watch it the whole time because I was so engrossed with the actress who played the old woman. She was fantastic. Great job Zeta.
“A Class of Their Own”
If I said anyone else had the best choreography of the entire night, it was only because I hadn’t seen Sing Alliance yet. It was fantastic, especially during the “Saved by the Bell” bit. Also the vocals were consistently high quality. The one part that I didn’t like was the middle when the “bullies” came out. It didn’t read well and nothing happened with them. As the theater kids I recognized in the cast will remember, conflict breeds excitement. There wasn’t enough of either to make this act great.
Alpha Chi Omega
“Bound by Midnight”
This act opened very well. The free-form ballet dance was beautiful and really fit the magical forest theme. Additionally, the first two vocalists were phenomenal, especially the girl in green. Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Know” was a powerful song choice for the finale and it paid off. The one glaring unfortunate part was in the middle when the fairies in black came out to dance. It was a poor song choice for the act, considering the vocal range of the participants. Apart from that one point the act was stellar, but that one point sticks out.
“United We Stand”
Kappa Sig, I’ll forgive you once, just this once, for singing a Civil War song in an act about the Revolutionary War. I’m doing this solely because “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” was so incredibly awesome. I also found it delightful that a woman in soldier’s clothing was dancing in the front while the song from Mulan was playing. The choreography was sharp and the acrobatics were spot-on. There were some minor vocal and execution issues that kept you out of the top spot, but if you sharpen up there’s no reason you can’t be on top.