8:00- Solo comp. finalist Carsen Flowers
8:10- West Jones "Imagination"
8:40- Solo comp. finalist Mabry Smith
8:50- WWS "Esprit"
9:20- Solo comp. finalist Sam Griffith
9:30- Brandon "Brio"
10:00- Biloxi "Sound Surge"
10:30- WWS "The Classics"
11:10- Final Awards
Oh wow.. congrats to West Jones for placing 2nd in prelims!! I'm sure the scores between the top 3 are super close and I'm very interested to see what happens in finals. I also imagine NE Jones was very close to making it into finals. The Jones County schools showed out today!
GC: West Marion
2RU: Warren Central
I think NEJ is a solid pick for first in middle mixed as they are undefeated in the middle mixed division this year. Sumrall had a great showing at Homewood, so they could potentially threaten the streak!
Laurel and West Marion will likely be top three, while Wayne Co., Warren Central, and CCA will battle it out for a spot in top 3 as well (these 3 groups placed within 4.5 points of each other from top to bottom). I'd give the nod to warren central.
While I have "Esprit" over "Bellas" in the single gender division, I think it could go either way. I haven't even seen the show from "Esprit", but I expect them to be solid. Both of these girls groups are undefeated in their division, so that will change this Saturday . (are you biting your nails yet?)
A couple of things to note: Brandon has 2 wins, one 1RU. WWS mixed has 2 wins, one 1RU. Brandon Bellas has 3 wins, 3 finals placements. WWS women's has 3 wins, 3 finals placements. Despite being hundreds of miles away from each other, these programs are mirrored competitively. There is an argument that can be made that the competitive world of show choir is much more so in the midwest, and I would agree with that statement. However, I think the best southern groups can roll with the best midwestern groups (and I would cite Petal and Clinton going to Glenwood in 2019 as my evidence for that because they placed top 1 and 2. and it wasn't even close between them and the other groups) I think Brandon is the underdog even though I have them sweeping here.
Brandon has certainly become a southern Titan of a show choir and I believe they will pull off the win here. With that being said, WWS has had an incredible season thus far. One slight hiccup at the beginning of the season (and by hiccup I just mean 2nd place, which is not much of a hiccup) Since then, the results of their show have gotten more impressive despite the fact that they've had arguably harder competition as the season has progressed. Last weekend, they swept over some of the best midwestern groups. They are not traveling all the way down to Petal Mississippi for anything less than first.
At the beginning of the season, I would've predicted this as a clear win for WWS, but at this juncture I would not be surprised to see it go either way. I expect strong showings from West Jones and Biloxi here. Wouldn't be surprised if Biloxi jumped back up to that fourth place, but they've be competitively inconsistent(I'm still gonna root for them because I have mad love for Biloxi I know they can pull off something special). Best of Luck to all the groups competing! I will be there myself - I won't be live-streaming, but I'll be posting my thoughts throughout the day on my instagram page @thebradleydavis // See yall soon!
I’m not entirely convinced yet that Brandon is a Titan in the South. Yes, they’ve won a lot of contests, but they have yet to defeat Clinton, Homewood, or Petal — and to my knowledge, they haven’t even taken a caption from those three. Even in a hypothetical matchup between those three, plus Auburn and Oak Mountain, I have them scored near, but typically above Auburn and Oak Mountain depending on the scoresheet. They’re getting really strong, and could become a Titan in future years, but it’s too early to say that they are one.
Clinton has dominated everyone in the country as long as we’ve been alive.
Homewood has dominated the entire South since 2011.
Petal dominated with Clinton in the late 90s/early 2000s, and has been back since 2016.
Perhaps your barrier for entry is higher and thus only includes the 3 groups (Clinton, Petal, and Homewood) that have historically been dominant, but Brandon has been on par with Homewood, Oak Mountain, Auburn, and Petal for at least a couple years now. This year, they were within arms reach of clinton at NEJ. Closer in points than OM was last year. (and yes Clinton has a young group and It was their first comp of the season, but they generally compete this late into the southern year).
10 out of their past 14 Grand Championship wins have been in the last four years. Maybe I'm jumping the gun, but I don't think I am! Oak Mountain has a great show this year, but last year's show was insane-- I don't know if they could beat Brandon again this year. And this is why I have them tiered up with the Titans, because the only group that I think could beat them convincingly is Attaché and that didn't even happen at NEJ. They could give Petal, Homewood(I saw Homewood's show last weekend and its better than they've been in years past), and OM a run for their money as well. Have you gotten a chance to catch Brandon in person this year?
I won’t get to see them in person unless there’s a national contest not listed under their contests list on SCC. I personally had Brandon down about ten points (I think it was like eight) on the three scoresheets I’ve used. Really difficult to judge varying sound systems, video vs in person, etc., and that likely explains why there was variation in Clinton’s placements, why Brandon is closer to Auburn/OM than Petal/Homewood since I saw those four groups live at Homewood vs a video from NEJ for Clinton and Brandon.
All of that being said... If Brandon wins here, then yes they are a Southern Titan. Doesn't even need to be a sweep as beating WWS is a huge accomplishment. And yes, my barrier is quite high for that. I didn't consider Homewood a "Titan" until they beat ATSC in 2018. I was that way with Petal until they beat WWS, Center Grove, etc. at Glenwood in 2019.
GC - Brandon "Brio" (Sweep)
1RU - Wheaton Warrenville South "The Classics"
2RU - West Jones "Imagination"
3RU - North East Jones "Gold Horizons"
4RU - Biloxi "Sound Surge"
I could also see Wheaton South taking a captain here if they try hard enough it will be tough but not impossible. That last place in finals I could see also going to either Esprit or maybe even Bellas. Also if Biloxi has a really good showing at this comp I believe they can snag that 3rd Runner Up spot