Arts Desk

Afro-Blue: Still Not Done


Afro-Blue's special appearance on The Sing-Off last night went off without a hitch, with the Howard University group providing a marvelous setting for Smokey Robinson to perform his big hit "You Really Got a Hold On Me." (FYI, Dallas-based quintet Pentatonix took the top prize.) And it turned out to be a special appearance indeed. Reports had suggested that all of the Top 10 acts on the show would perform, and they did—as segues into the commercial breaks. But Afro-Blue's showcase was something different, as their teacher and director Connaitre Miller explains.

"After last week's elimination the public took to the press, e-mailing, Facebooking, and Tweeting their displeasure ferociously," Miller says, in a mass e-mail that she sent yesterday. "There were 31 PAGES of comments responding to Ben Folds' blog as he explained the reasons for their decision – most of which were quite irritated with the judges and the producers of the show. So – the following day, NBC contacted Afro Blue and asked them to sing a special song with Smokey Robinson on the finale episode."

In other words, Afro-Blue fans, you did this. And that's not all you did.

"In addition, Afro Blue has been asked to sing a song with the group 'Committed,' which were last season's winners," Miller adds. "So, I did the Afro Blue portion of their arrangement for next week ('Ooo Child' – a classic) and sent it off to AB last night. Soooo – we get two more weeks of performances on NBC prime time and some pretty special moments. That's show biz."

As such, Afro-Blue is on a longer stay in Los Angeles than previously believed. The bad news: Your humble correspondent's probably going to have to wait a while longer for his post-show interview with group members. The good news: Afro-Blue gets another big shot on network TV, performing in next week's Sing-Off Christmas episode. And while, yes, the money and recording contract could have been theirs had they not been eliminated, consider this: Record executives, the kind who are no doubt drafting Pentatonix's deal even as we speak, are inclined to look favorably on a group that attracted such a large fan base that producers showcased them—twice—after they were technically off the show.

In other words, keep it up, Afro-Blue fans, and you might just get your favorite singers their big prize after all.

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  • Amy


  • Cris

    Afro-Blue should have never been eliminated in the first place. Good for your Afro-Blue!!!!

  • Taylor

    And we didn't even have to "DUMB DOWN" our loyalty to Afro Blue Mr. Folds!

  • Britney

    Bluuuuuuuuuue! I want that record so bad! Can't wait to see them again.

  • Rodger

    Afro Blue- we're listening!
    If you record it, I'm buying it.

  • Crystal

    I stopped watching when they went home so I gotta get back into it. I LOVE AB. They are the heart and soul of this show. Go HU and AB!

  • Joel

    Alright, NBC. There's an easy way to appease the legions of AB fans - when you think jazz recordings, what record label springs to mind? Verve Records, right? Guess who owns that label? Universal Music Group, as in NBC Universal.

    And the first track should be their swan song - "We've Only Just Begun".

  • Neel

    Afro Blue was on a whole different level from the rest of the groups and it sounds like Ben Folds definitely thought so. I don't believe for a minute that the judges' picks are based on a particular night's performances. Call me a cynic but Sing-Off, Idol, AGT, etc. are about ratings. Sadly, jazz doesn't appeal to the mainstream like pop, hip-hop and Top 40.

    Bottom line: Afro Blue got enough national exposure to launch them (if they stay together- remember they're students in college). The eventual winner may or may not be remembered six months from now but Afro Blue made an unforgettable mark on the music scene.

  • Jassane

    I loved Afro Blue. I keep playing the videos on youtube over and over because I love their sound. I will be looking for a CD soon and I am sure that this is not the last that we have seen of this very talented group. Brave Ms. Miller!!!!

  • Eric Jacobs

    Come see Afro blue vocal band at a rare dc appearance next sat march 3.... More at