The competition was over last week with the crowning of techno-wizards Pentatonix as champions, but fans of "The Sing-Off" were treated to one last night of their favorite performers when the a cappella talent show aired a special Christmas episode that brought back star contestants from all three of its seasons. The show's signature competitive tension was gone, and the seasonal spirit was apparent as the groups teamed up for feel-good collaborations.
We saw familiar faces from past seasons, including champions Nota and Committed, along with special guest Flo Rida, who brought a touch of celebrity to his performance of his hit single "Good Feeling" with Urban Method and Pentatonix. Past and present contestants brought everything to the table this week, proving that they take pride in performing even without the promise of a prize. Here are our top five moments of the holiday special:
(5) Street Corner Symphony, "Hallelujah"
Some members of Nashville's Street Corner Symphony didn't let their last-minute loss last season stop them -- several were back this season as part of The Collective. "Hallelujah" has been covered many times, but this band of brothers did the Leonard Cohen tune justice with a haunting, beautiful interpretation that allowed the stripped-down emotion of the song to shine. It was nice to see them have a meaningful moment amid the campier, silly Christmas tunes.
(4) Delilah and The Backbeats, "All I Want for Christmas Is You"
Some of the best female vocalists in the show's history came together for this spirited, sassy rendition of Mariah Carey's original song. It's always hard to top Mariah, but these powerhouse all-stars had the personality to pull it off. We liked seeing Amy from Delilah snag a solo, as well as Courtney from The Backbeats, who stood out for her beatboxing last season.
(3) Shawn Stockman and Nota, "This Christmas"
Shawn stayed at the judges' table last week, even though Sara and Ben stepped forward to perform. He showed us that he has nothing to hide with this smooth, intricate, vocally flawless collaboration with the Season 1 champions, Nota. Honoring Nota's Puerto Rican origins, Shawn even busted out some lyrics in Spanish, gaining even more of our respect.
(2) Sara Bareilles, Ben Folds, and "The Sing-Off Five," "Baby, It's Cold Outside"
Sara and Ben, our lovable judges, made a formidable pair matched up in this classic holiday duet. The show strayed from its strict vocals-only rule to let musical mastermind Ben show off his piano skills -- and we're not complaining. Sara, who was an a cappella performer before she became famous, led flawlessly, showing us why she's in the judge's seat.
(1) Ensemble, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"
All 14 groups got on the stage (and in the audience, and in the boxes) for this moving, heartwarming ensemble performance. All our favorite soloists from years past stepped forward to sing a line or two, led by Pentatonix's Scott. It was a perfect closing for the fun-filled, emotional episode and a perfect start to the holiday season.
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