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The Sing-Off
Season 3
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Previous Episodes
September 19
 

The biggest musical challenge ever to hit the stage features 16 teams, great music... and no instruments.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN
 
Host Nick Lachey
Judges Sara Bareilles
Ben Folds
Shawn Stockman
Creator Joel Gallen
EP Joel Gallen
Deborah Jelin Newmyer
Sam Weisman
Josh Greenberg
Packager Tenth Planet Productions & Outlaw Productions for Sony Pictures TV
Origins Sunset Bronson Studios, Los Angeles
Web nbc.com/singoff
Airs 8p ET Mon, NBC
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Round of 12: Radio Hits & 60s Hits Part 1
October 3

Two weeks ago on the Sing-Off, sixteen vocal groups started on an incredible journey toward $200,000 and a Sony Music contract. Twelve remain in the hunt, but they're going to have to pull MORE tricks out of their throats if they want to survive the judges' next round of cuts.

First up, let's head "Somewhere Only We Know" with tonight's six...

- Afro-blue; Howard University; Washington DC
- Delilah; Los Angeles
- Kinfolk 9; Los Angeles
- Urban Method; Denver
- Vocal Point; BYU; Provo, UT
- YellowJackets; University of Rochester; Rochester, NY

First up...

1) VOCAL POINT - Ben had to leave the group on a family emergency. His father had been sick last week. This week, sadly, he is preparing to go to a funeral for him. Their performance of Justin Bieber's "Never Say Never" will be in his honor.

Choreography's on point, but the solo gets drowned by the group backing, and there was a bit of modulation issue that needs to be cleaned up quickly before it costs them the whole deal. The good news is that the arrangement was really tight. And their confidence was not easily shaken, as if to say, "We are singing Justin Bieber. We don't like it, but we're going to do this anyway." It just isn't that natural.

2) DELILAH - Last round, they were the ones to beat. They're going to have to follow that up with a risky song choice, "Whataya Want From Me" by Adam Lambert. Not many women could pull off a male song... but it was written by Pink, so there's THAT.

A very vulnerable arrangement that tells the deep story of the selection. And all the right singers end up in all the right places. And the group builds from their week 1 performance. Again, the group to beat.

3) URBAN METHOD - They're trying to prove that there's a method to their madness, as they continue to blend traditional a cappella with hip-hop. They're going to continue to work on what they know best with "Just Can't Get Enough" by the Black Eyed Peas.

Miles better than last week, they break out more of the performance aspect to add on to a killer arrangement. It was a risky move to strip down the song to its elements, but it was a smart risk. Now build on that and you can take on the throne.

4) AFRO-BLUE - Their debut was about as smooth and melt-in-your-mouth as warm chocolate. Now they're hoping to make a moment with Estelle & Kanye West's "American Boy"... redone.

Interesting. I like what they tried to do with it... but I probably would've cleaned up the harmony a bit. It's ALMOST there. I get what they're trying to accomplish, blending the old with the new. If you're going to try the old, it's gotta be on point. As it is, it's a tale of two songs, a mediocre start, a gallant finish. They're great performers, but they deserve a cleaner performance.

5) YELLOWJACKETS - They kicked off the Sing-Off in grand style, and now they're hoping not to get the grand kiss-off with their first number, Taio Cruz' "Dynamite". The solo is nervous, as well he should be. It's a very rangy song.

You know what would've been better? An arrangement that took some of the weight off of the soloist. That way, he wouldn't get drowned out as easily and it wouldn't sound so sharp or atonal. It could also used a little more bass. I enjoyed the bridge more than anything... the end coming in a close second. Great job with the choreo, but Ben is right, it needed a little more "stomp".

6) KINFOLK 9 - Last round, they were in the bottom two. They're hoping to retreat and regroup with "Price Tag" by Jessie J featuring B.o.B.

JC Chasez has a saying, "The meat is in the sandwich." That means that the heart of the melody is in the performance. I probably would've either put the rap in the bridge or cut it out entirely, because when it's swamped by the backing, it doesn't make sense. It's a lot better than their first performance, but is it going to be enough to save them from the bottom THIS WEEK? Not if we're judging on whether or not that vocal will stay with you. Bottom line: you are all great singers. You are NOT a great group.

Now that we've covered the bases for the here and now... let's go all the way back to the 1960s. First out the retro gate...

1) DELILAH - "Heat Wave" by Martha & the Vandellas

I don't think you could've lost with that song choice. That was the perfect song for this group of sirens, and they made it even better with their performance aspect. And how about the play-on-dynamic at the end? If I did have a complaint, it was just a bit robotic, a bit too perfect, like this is how you sing a 60's song. It needed a little more modulation.

2) URBAN METHOD - "Dance to the Music" by Sly & the Family Stone

That song was just full of potential realized by the power of each member of the group contributing something to the whole. Way to make the best of the tools given. They play with it, they improve upon it, it's just a really moving full-on vocal.

3) VOCAL POINT - "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra

I get it. You needed to do something to stand out... I don't think changing the tempo willy-nilly like that was the thing to do. It was a really solid arrangement, and you have a killer soloist for it, but we're not going to remember the way he killed it, but the way you killed each other. But they ARE having a really good time with it, and it's not as forced as the first number, and that is a plus.

4) AFRO-BLUE - "(I Heard It Through The) Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye

Lively rendition and an even livelier performance. And I think I heard a bit of tri-tone that just blew anything up to this point by this group out of the water. Good improvement out of the first number.

5) YELLOWJACKETS - "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" by the Four Seasons

Another a cappella standby. And a safe one. And a safe arrangement. And a predictable choreo. And you always get points by singing to the female judge. Welcome to Singing Competition 101. It was just so... BASIC.

6) KINFOLK 9 - "Let It Be" by the Beatles

That was perhaps your best effort. Unfortunately, the volume was just loud... going to louder. And then all of a sudden, it was a sharp turn downward for the requisite ending. The song is a simple song; it should be sung simply or not at all. And I'll ask again, it was a very sincere, very dimensional effort, but will it be enough to save you?

The answer to that question.... RIGHT NOW. It's time for one group to sing their swan song.

Safe tonight... Vocal Point... and Urban Method. Joining them... Yellowjackets and Afro-Blue, leaving Delilah and Kinfolk 9 in the bottom two.

Nick says that this is one of the hardest decisions that the judges had to make, but the decision is made...

.... and the road ends... for KINFOLK 9. They will sing us out with their Swan Song, "Loser" by Beck.

... fitting.

Power Rankings after Week Three
DELILAH
URBAN METHOD
AFRO-BLUE
YELLOWJACKETS
VOCAL POINT

Five groups will see the round of 10. Who'll join them? Find out when we do it all again next week. Until then, remember to support local and independent music!

To see this episode in its entirety, visit www.nbc.com/singoff.