If Afro-Blue wasn’t going to win The Sing Off, then my second choice would have been Texas-based Pentatonix, so it was a good thing that they won last night. But more importantly, Afro-Blue was showcased in a way that the other eliminated groups weren’t, and Michael J. West thinks the fans are responsible:

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.

Also: Don’t think it escaped my notice that Afro-Blue’s Christie Dashiell led the girls’ sing of “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.” There’s lots more coming down the pike for the Howard group. Read the rest on Afro-Blue’s immediate future at Arts Desk.