I started off the season saying the Blue Devils were most likely to win it, even though I hadn’t seen their show yet. They remained undefeated all tour, so I suppose my thoughts were validated. Let’s talk about what I never saw coming.
Vanguard in the Running
While I had faith in the Devils bringing a championship-worthy show sight unseen, I didn’t give Santa Clara Vanguard the same credit. But all summer long they’ve held their grip on second place and still have a shot to win on Saturday. They are most likely to win the Percussion category, and their General Effect scores rival those of BD.
Their biggest constraint is their brassline, ranking 4th recently, and that’s a hard caption to earn tenths this late in the season. If an upset does occur, it will come through some big wins in Color Guard and Visual Proficiency whose scores can increase more than expected in a great performance.
Bluecoats Firmly Out of the Running
The returning champions haven’t replicated last year’s success. I didn’t have many fond things to say of their show, but I didn’t think they’d lose the story entirely. I’ve not seen near as much hype for Jagged Line as I see about any other top five show. Will enjoy the performance I’m sure, but doesn’t seem like one for the history books.
Carolina Crown’s Vocalist Isn’t So Bad
They workshopped this show really well. The balance of the vocalist is better and I’m not so angry about it. We all needed some time to process. Crown is still expected to win Brass but the big shocker this year is that it’s not a lock! They might not win Brass if BD gets in the way like they have at some points this season.
But they should win brass, so let’s not give the judges any ideas.
The Plan for the Weekend
I’ll be attending DCI Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium; seat won’t be the best but not the worst either. Other than that I’ll just be watching scores and social media. No full run videos or attending the prelims in the theater for me. I look forward to watching the corps final product! It’s a fun season when anything can happen in the top 3, and here we are.