Nota won it in season 1.
Committed won it in season 2.
Tonight, for the first time in the regular
season... The Sing-Off is ON... again. And this time, there's a new kid on the
block, as "Love Song" and "King of Anything" singer Sara Bareilles (who's also a
fan and an alum of the a cappella community) joins Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman
on the judging panel. FIRST things first, though... Time to meet this year's
crop of a cappella junkies who are chasing $200,000 and a recording contract
from Sony Music... to the tune of Pink's "F***in' Perfect."
- Afro-blue; Howard University; Washington
- The Cat's Pajamas; Branson, MO
- The Collective; Nashville
- The Dartmouth Aires; Dartmouth College; Hanover, NH
- Delilah; Los Angeles
- The Deltones; University of Delaware; Newark, DE
- Fannin Family; Hortonville, WI
- Kinfolk 9; Los Angeles
- Messiah's Men; Minneapolis
- North Shore; Boston
- Pentatonix; Arlington, TX
- Sonos; Los Angeles
- Soul'd Out; Wilsonville HS; Wilsonville, OR
- Urban Method; Denver
- Vocal Point; BYU; Provo, UT
- YellowJackets; University of Rochester; Rochester, NY
Tonight, eight of these singers will perform,
with two groups being eliminated. The other eight will sing NEXT week.
1) YELLOWJACKETS - Big stress is on this group of
NY college kids. They respond to the challenge with the equally challenging "Wavin'
Flag", K'naan's theme from last year's World Cup.
The only beef I had with the song was the start.
The person who sang the first verse should've never even considered it. He was a
very weak vocalist. The arrangement hits all the right notes (no pun intended),
and the choreography makes sense from an artistic standpoint. They're making a
big statement in choosing this song and performing it the way that they did. The
solos had the right tone, but the over-arching group dynamic is what makes this
performance a great way to start the season.
2) THE FANNIN FAMILY - We've seen some groups
before, but never from the same family. That changes tonight as this group of
eight siblings takes on "Who Says" from Selena Gomez.
The stress is on Maria, the young 14-year-old, to
carry the song. She does that with a voice of someone twice her age. But it
comes at a price of not being as controlled as the older contestants. That money
note, though... whoo. Anyway, the group have an enchanting harmony, but they do
next to nothing with the arrangement. Or is it that they just all sound the same
and it's just steadily engineered to be monotonous with one unified tone
throughout the whole piece and I'm putting myself to sleep as I type this. This
would've passed muster in season 1, but the bar, unfortunately for you, has been
3) AFRO-BLUE - They specialize in jazz, R&B, and
funk, drawing from the rich history of the HBCU. They'll have to pull that in to
their performance of Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On".
The ladies in the background need more of a blend
with the guys, who seem to knock the bass out of the park. The lead vocalist is
incredible for a college student. The arrangement is really solid, but it
could've used a tad more dynamic... just a touch. And the song fits the group,
very natural, very loose. It was refreshing.
Side note: we get it, Sara. You're new.
4) DELILAH - Most reality shows cull contestants
from past seasons. This reality show... leaves the culling to the contestants
themselves. Made up of all-stars from the first two seasons, this group of eight
women will vocalize as one for the first time with "Grenade" by Bruno Mars.
In a word... DAMN.That was raw sex. Anyone can be
taught how to sing or perform, but to do it at the same time and exude that
sensuality while doing so... that can't be learned. The arrangement was also
pretty saucy, almost raunchy. The group itself was together. They are emerging
as an early threat. Now they have to go at it to be BETTER than this. Because if
you peak too early, you're going to burn out that much quicker.
And now the judges aren't going to wait until the
end of the show to put one group out of its misery. For three, they continue on
to the next round.
Surviving this round... Delilah & Afro-Blue. And
the dubious honor of being the first group going home on season 3 of "The
Sing-Off".... The Fannin Family. Their swan song... "Tomorrow" from Annie.
5) URBAN METHOD - A group of professional
musicians deliver "The Sing-Off's" first ever group... with a rapper. Will that
be the X factor this group needs to win? Of course not. That's another network.
But they will make their opening argument on "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem &
First of all, mad props on Mike's rhymes. If only
the rest of the group was as clean as he was. the basic story here... Potential
squandered. They have a great group performance factor, and they tell the story
of the song, but the problems - and there are many - is that they don't do
enough with the arrangement AND what they do do is... well, doo-doo. And there's
no real matching dynamic overall. This group needs to regroup, or else they're
going to meet up with the Fannin Family and then things will REALLY get awkward.
6) THE CAT'S PAJAMAS - They're from Branson. So
they're a bit professional. Can they bring that to this stage with "Some Kind of
Wonderful" from Grand Funk Railroad?
It's a good arrangement, but there's way. Too.
Much. Treble. Good breakdown in the trailing of the song, but let's call a spade
a spade. It's all about the soloist and to hell with the backup. Technically,
they are the best singers of the group, but they don't really have the artistry
aspect of the other groups. It's more like "this is how you sing a cappella".
You're not singing AT me, you're singing towards me. There's no performance,
there's just a well-sung song.
7) KINFOLK 9 - They're a group of struggling
artists who decided to try a cappella for the first time. But can they put the
art into their performance of "Secrets" by Onerepublic?
Very controlled background. I would've picked a
stronger pair of vocalists, but they have chemistry, so there's a bit of
trade-off. A very safe arrangement, no risk. No need for risk right now. But
they have a very tight harmony. They just need to build from that.
8) VOCAL POINT - As far as collegiate a cappella
groups go, they are the best of the best, having won numerous competitions. Now
they'll have to translate that into their signature of "Jump Jive & Wail" from
the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
NOTE: One of the group is missing because three
days prior, he got a phone call asking his return to Australia to be with his
father, who has leukemia.
Great performance, effortless harmonies, creative
arrangement, good modulation in the key-change, and the execution was spot on
with as much risk as needed. They also move in time. That comes with years of
training and dedication. It needed a little bit of baritone, though, just to
even everything out. But yeah, it was fun.
Now to cut and run, because we're running out of
time. Another group is going to leave the competition tonight.
Surviving this cut... Vocal Point & Urban
Method..... and Kinfolk 9. The Cat's Pajamas weren't... so they're going to sing
their swan song, "Bye Bye Love" by the Everly Brothers. And if they had done the
job during the round that they did in their swan song, they would still be
here... And yes, that is often the case on "The Sing-Off."
Power Rankings after Week One
These six will have two weeks to get their follow
up to par, because our next group of eight will take the stage next week. Until
then, remember to support local and independent music!
To see this episode in its entirety, visit