It's a difference in circuits, I guess. Many times, a large school prep group in Iowa is one of the Top 6 groups at a competition, and therefore would be deserving of finals. I have seen dozens of extremely competitive prep groups in Iowa that have beaten several good varsity choirs in a single season.
If there isn't finals at a competition, you will see most of the prep groups compete in their own division. Every once in a while, you'll see a prep group compete in the "Open Division", which in Iowa generally means the top tier of performing groups. Groups like Benton, Des Moines Christian, Bishop Heelan, Marion etc. are a lot smaller than Linn-Mar or the Des Moines suburb schools, but they are still very competitive groups that compete well, especially when they travel to other states, and so they often choose to compete in the Open Division, even though their school size would allow them to compete in a smaller division. There are schools like Ankeny Centennial and Waukee that have had their prep groups compete in Open Division.
In the past, we at MOShow had a rule about not allowing prep groups in finals, but honestly, most of the bigger Iowa choirs (including ourselves) have very competitive prep groups that do regularly make finals and place Top 6 at competitions. We were losing choirs because they wanted to compete at places where their prep groups could make finals. There were times at MOShow where a prep group could have the 4th highest score, but not be eligible for finals.
Sorry for the ramble. Hope this starts to explain some of the differences in our circuit!
Waukee Northwest’s vocals murdered me. I am dead. And that was just through the live stream. I can’t imagine being there in person especially at the end of the ballad. Some of the most mature and rich vocals maybe ever. I just CANNOT. That was stunning. WNW seems to be the choir in Iowa that will set the bar for new innovation each year. And they’re only a couple years old as a school. Just amazing.
Y’all. Centennial’s concept is Love Island. And being a super fan of this exact trash reality tv show, I could not have been more excited. They even have three couples that the “public” aka audience can vote for to declare a winner. They put a number up and you can literally text it and vote for which couple you want to win. I voted for couple #2 and they won (note: I watched via live stream so no I didn’t pull out my phone in the gym)! Now I’m not sure if they actually end their show based on actual votes from that specific time or if a certain couple always wins and its planned beforehand - but either way, it was AMAZING and I was LIVING for it.
Someone from Centennial needs to give some details. Does the live vote dictate who wins? Or is the winner picked before the performance so the couples know where they will end up blocked at the end? Either way I LOVED it.
I also want to take a moment to talk about Urbandale Studio. Their show is allll Iowa. Well, Field of Dreams baseball (Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa) and Iowa . They have corn set pieces. The girls wear baseball uniforms ala A League of Their Own. There are a couple guys actually “having a catch” on stage with a baseball. The boys wear cowboy hats and sing the timeless classic “she thinks my tractors sexy”. The show is perfect and I loved it.