Before I start to comment I one to let one clear and know, I believe that all of the groups that performed yesterday where all amazing and should be proud of what they left on that stage. But, to "Wack" judging. I don't think there were any wack judging. Each judge on that judges' panel yesterday were all qualified judges. If you don't believe me hear is a rundown on two of the six judges' qualifications.
Mike Esser: This man is a show choir and choir legend. He was able to make GCS a powerhouse show choir group for over 20 years. Also, every director in the La Crosse area respects the man.
Adam Peters: What is there to say he is a great show choir judge. He doesn't let his outside opinion affect his judging. (At Holmen 2019, where he had Onalaska first because they were so god flapping great and Olentangy where he was one of the Judges to have Carmel "Accent" in 2nd.) And have you ever hear him talk about show choir. All I am going to say is that it was terrific.
And with quality judges like that, you can't really blame the judges. In addition, every competition is a new competition. For example, take a look at Brea Olinda "Masquerade." Earlier this year, they bested two of the three best groups in the nation in competition in California. But, at the same time, they lost to the group they bested at their first competition. Does this loss to this group mean that they were bad? No. It was a new space, a new judges panel, and new competitors like Burbank placement are going to change. But, this is not to downplay the blood, sweat, and tears that the students from Monona Grove displayed yesterday. They did GREAT. Starting out the open division is a hard thing to do but, Monona Grove rose to the challenge and made a statement. And even with the news about Finals, none of the Monona Grove Students complained about not making finals but, they were genuinely professional about the news. (And that is amazing) I hope guys at Monona do well at Craig this weekend, and thanks for having such a fantastic show.
Now the "most controversial" topic Best Choreography. Let me get this out of the way, it happens. Is it a bit weird on a superficial level, yeah. But once you look at the quality of the groups here you can see that it is a real possibility. It shouldn't be a bad thing that Neenah getting Best Choreography got the placement that they got. It is a testament to the quality of the final groups and Neenah for having such great choreography. Honestly, any of these groups could have gotten Best Choreography. That is how close it was.
Overall, before you start to comment and say that the judging was "BAD" or "THIS GROUP GOT ROBBED BECAUSE A B AND C" realize that it is a tough job being a show choir judge. Judges have to rank many amazing show choirs and, at the same time, not let their emotions or opinion affect their judgments. Not a lot of people can do that, me included. (I tried fake judge a show choir competition and man that was easily the hardest thing to do).
But that is just what I had to say about the topic.
Neenah and Monona Grove, Good Luck at Craig, that is going to be a fun competition. And to every other group for performed yesterday, thanks for making this year Holmen Gathering Of The Stars a great one.
Watching the live stream, I was so impressed by the caliber of competition and how very tightly this competition was run.
As someone who has watched competitive show choir for over 30 years results are ALWAYS crazy and I love it. It keeps it interesting and foregone conclusions are challenged. I mean, how many predictions were thrown out of whack this week?
And can I just say how great it is to see these groups compete primarily in state? It’s nice to see rare match-ups and rematches between Wisco groups.
I was careful to use the word "scoring" and not "judging" in describing what made Saturday's results surprising and very different from what has happened when these choirs met head to head at other competitions this season. The judges have to evaluate each group based on the judging sheets they are given.
I always find it curious that there isn't an overall judge to look at the entire package that the choirs put on stage. When the choirs are only being evaluated on choreo, vocals, and band, so much of what what makes show choir special (theme, costumes, musical selections, storytelling, show design, pacing....) seem to get undervalued in the scoring.
There were 6 very deserving groups who went on to the night show, and some deserving groups that made an early exit. Also, the best choir won last night, and that is how it should be. Congrats to the groups that finished their season this weekend, and best of luck to those who are competing again this year!
Hey folks. SCC was alerted of a scoring error here -- Neenah actually received 3rd instead of 5th. It's been adjusted above. I have no additional information beyond that as to the source of the miscalculation. Folks from Holmen (or Neenah) are welcome to comment. Otherwise, just wanted to note the change above.
Based on what I heard (so take it with a grain of salt), the scoring error was due to uses of the wrong tie-breaking system. There was a new parent reviewing the finals scores this year. And I believe that is where the error stemmed from.
(But that means that 3-5th were tied before the tie breaker)
Our tabulations parent is new this year and in the process of configuring results, they scored vertically instead of horizontally.
As each group was given a place (Onalaska in 1st, North St. Paul in 2nd), their column was crossed off. When it came to places 3, 4, and 5, there was a "tie" in finals ranks so day time scores were used to break said ties. This is not the way final scores should be been tallied. This way neglected to take into account rankings that were in those previous columns. In reality, there was no tie and placements should have been as follows:
GC: Onalaska (BB/BV)
1RU: North St. Paul
2RU: Vintage 2020 (BC)
5RU: De Pere
Onalaska....no words for how proud I am of you guys. In 38 years of doing choreography, you're the first group I've ever been blessed to work with that has won 6 championships in a single year! You were up against a ton of great competitors with amazing shows and performers in your final chapter, and you managed to do it again. Seniors, I will miss you guys a LOT, and to those of you returning, celebrate the achievement and roll up your sleeves to get back to work in the summer. Also, way to go Express!!!!! God bless, Damon
GC: Onalaska Hilltoppers-Best Vocals
1RU: North Saint Paul Northern Lights
2RU: LaCrosse-Logan Class Act
3RU: Sauk Prairie Executive Session
4RU: Neenah Vintage 2020-Best Choreography
5RU: DePere Jam Session