Last week, the final seven groups treated us to some
Halloween medleys. But one group failed to turn a trick, leaving the
Yellowjackets stung. Now six remain in the hunt for $200,000 and the Sony Music recording contract.
First up, consider this your "Wake Up" call from
Now... to battle. First up... (Olmec) LET'S ROCK.
1) PENTATONIX blew out the competition last week,
but they fear that they don't have the vocal power to carry a big rock anthem.
And Kirstie being sick ... doesn't help. They'll give it all they have with
"Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf.
That's the key to this competition. If something
looks like it doesn't work, you make it work. This is Pentatonix at its element,
from the bass-heavy arrangement to the natural blend to the animated choreo. The
mark is set. Everything seems to work when it's supposed to.
2) DARTMOUTH AIRES are not going to take it
anymore. Last week, they took on Queen, but they'll have to do better, but can
they do it with one less bass, who is off to grad school? We're gonna see with
Dee Snider's love letter to my generation, Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna
That... could've been tighter. Yes, rock'n'roll
is about rebellion, but you have to remember, you are a unit. Even as
interesting as the breakdown post-bridge was, you can be as loose as you want,
but you have to cohere. Luckily you have one song left.
3) AFRO-BLUE are classic jazz stylists, but they
need to embrace a less-is-more approach. And they need to do it with a Tom Petty
classic, "American Girl". Can they turn rock blue or will they be left feeling
They tried to put it at the speed of Afro-Blue,
but there was a hole in the chorus that you could drive a Mack truck through.
Nice interpolation of the National Anthem. But it's one of those cases where,
are you doing it because you feel it, or are you doing it just to avoid
elimination? Ben... calls you out. They need to find identity before they can
4) DELILAH ... they need help. They've been
skirting by the seat of their pants for the last couple of weeks, and now they
face a must-blow night. Will they get the performance that they're looking for
on "Dream On" by Aerosmith, or is this going to be something that will cushion
the blow of an all-but-certain death?
The good: the arrangement. The bad... the
all-over-the-place choreography. The ugly... wind machines and power shrieks.
You ladies better enjoy your last song, because I think, and this is just me
talking, but I think... that your last song... is JUST THAT.
5) URBAN METHOD - They are innovators. They are
favorites. But can they adapt to a musical genre that is not their own? We'll
see the end result on Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again". They're trying to
incorporate a rap into it. What they need to incorporate is confidence.
Afro-Blue, take notes. This is how you make a
strange song work for you. They play the performance to their strength, and it
sounds fresh and new. This is why Urban Method is in the place that they are in.
6) VOCAL POINT - They've had some up moments and
some down moments. But their biggest challenge... school. Pretty much going on
fumes at this point, but they can use that on their performance of "You Really
Got Me" by the Kinks.
Started out safe, but with a few well-timed
turnabouts, you salvage the performance. Interesting staging with the band
mock-up. Combine that with a good blend and a nice arrangement, and you have a
winning performance, but they need to continue on the high and not fall back.
Meanwhile, what's up with fellating the mic, sir?
We've gone rock, now it's time to go country.
1) DARTMOUTH AIRES - "Save A Horse, Ride A
Cowboy" by Big & Rich
You have to be VERY tight in order to pull off a
cappella while line dancing. They pull it off. And they keep it a little bit
interesting with the arrangement, especially in the coda of the tune and the
octave play throughout. It was a lot of fun to watch. And it should be.
2) AFRO-BLUE - "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum
It's not that big a stretch from jazz to country.
And like the last performance, it's not one big thing, it's several small
things, like breath control and a sharp note here and there. Otherwise, it's
perfectly passable. Of course it helps that the song crossed over into the pop
chart where you can pretty much turn it into anything.
3) URBAN METHOD - "Before He Cheats" by Carrie
I think the ladies found their confidence.
4) DELILAH - "If I Die Young" by the Band Perry
Sung like a group that is resigned to their fiery
fate. There was minimal blend and no dynamic whatsoever. It was just ONE LOUD
PHRASE AFTER ANOTHER!
5) VOCAL POINT - "Life Is A Highway" by Rascal
Again with the stage theatrics. Good arrangement,
and a great grasp of what the song is about. It's about life... as a highway.
That's freedom, baby.
6) PENTATONIX - "Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland
If you remember, Kirstie is singing wounded. She
inflects like a pro, though. And the group follows her every move. No doubt the
best of the night. And how about the reggae switch-up in the middle? That is
money in the bank.
We've had rock. We've had country. Now someone's
about to sing their way back to the house.
Returning next week.... Pentatonix and Urban
Joining them... Vocal Point and Dartmouth Aires!
That leaves Afro-Blue and Delilah in the bottom.
Afro-Blue has trouble connecting to the music. Delilah was pitchy and weak on
their second performance...
Leaving tonight ... DELILAH. They sing
us out with their swan song, "Survivor" by Destiny's Child.
The a cappella geek has spoken...
Power Rankings after Week Eight:
We're down to the final five. Next week, we're
getting our soul on. Who'll bare their soul for another week in the competition,
and who'll sell out their soul for the next ride out? Until next week, this be
Achordant #5 reminding you to support local and independent music!
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