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The Sing-Off
Season 3
8p ET Mondays

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Previous Episodes
September 19
September 26
October 3
October 10

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
@The Sing-Off

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Round of 10: Guilty Pleasures
October 17

For the last four weeks, the sixteen song squads have been singing in two divisions, but now that the field has been cut to the final 10, it's time for them to come together as one. But harmony like that will come as a price, as two teams will kiss their $200,000 dreams - and their shot at that Sony Music contract - goodbye tonight.

1) YELLOWJACKETS - The collegiate crooners have ticked all the boxes so far... acting goofy, acting cool, and wooing the female. Now they're going to have a little fun with "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls. Their arrangement was admittedly very bare. Can they get it together by showtime?

One of the chief complaints they had going in is that their arrangement needed depth. Otherwise, it wasn't music. Today, they get it together and put on a really goofy, really deep performance. They're still tight on the harmonies and that's as important as their stage presence, which is also something to call your mom about. However, you probably want to control the dynamic when you're delivering a high-energy number like that. But overall, it flowed together, even if it was a little... "flarp" (Shawn's word for sharp and flat).

2) DELILAH - Last week was a shock to the system of the all-female supergroup of Sing-Off all-stars. Will they regroup with "Flashdance... What a Feeling!" by Irene Cara... or will they feel an even DEEPER sting?

Much more subdued to start, and the soloist can kill it (though it verges on overkill at points). The arrangement needed a little bit of musical support. There was a quote thrown out by the Yellowjackets in the package: "If everyone is singing the same thing... it's not music." Delilah is not the group it was when the show began. Still good enough to survive, but no longer good enough to win. Still time to turn it around.

3) NORTH SHORE - the men of Boston brought down the house last week with "The Lazy Song", but now the onus is on them to duplicate or surpass that success this week, lest they flame out quickly. They're going to try out "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & the News.

... That song needed something. Something you didn't have. It needed a little bit of depth, a little emotion. This was the wrong song to sing, and it just felt hollow. You're good singers, but we needed another moment like last week, and we didn't get it.

4) THE COLLECTIVE - the a cappella new kids of the block are slowly feeling their way around the waters, but they've yet to dive in as one whole. Will that change tonight with "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor?

You could NOT have picked a better soloist to start this song. She is the focal point of the group... I would've gotten her to sing the whole and save the secondary for the chorus. Otherwise, it's competing divas, and the point of the group is ... hello, the group. Great arrangement on the background, great phrasing, they're together for once. But the song only needs one singer... and they don't need to overdo it. Very emotional, though.

5) DARTMOUTH AIRES - Last week, the Ivy Leaguers showed that they were in it for keeps. Do they have enough energy left for "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield?

I'm looking for the classic bass line... and there it is. But the leads are drowning out that background on the verses. But as flat as the background veers at times... do we really WANT to hear it? It's a good performance, but it means nothing if it isn't musically on point all the time.

Five down, five left, but first... someone has to go.

Moving on to next week's round of eight... The Collective... and the Yellowjackets! Joining them... The Dartmouth Aires! Narrowly avoiding the curtain call... for the second round in a row, DELILAH! It's back to Boston for the doo-woppers of North Shore, as they deliver their swan song.... and it can only be the Spaniards classic, "Goodnight Sweetheart".

Round 2 set to begin with ...

6) AFRO-BLUE - Another fine showing from the folks at Howard University, followed by a bit of a low point. Can they get it back with "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston? Over the last 10 years, the pit of vocal despair has been littered with the bodies of those who dare to take on the throne.

Good arrangement, but a mite flat on the chorus. And this is a mid- to high-range energy song. I didn't feel energy. I felt a lot of swag, but if you're going to go the energetic route, then it needs to be two whole minutes of it, not 15 seconds toward the end. Nice blend, though.

And somebody please break up Shawn and Sara? Adults are talking.

7) PENTATONIX - They hit a major stumbling block last time with Ke$ha. This week, something more their speed, vocal remixes on the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star". But they decide to take it more seriously. Is it going to be too safe?

Pentatonix is back in it. A good move switching songs. Nice change-ups, and they were all within the tone of the song, so nothing is lost in translation. Arrangement is killer solid, and the group goes back to what it knows with a song that called for it.

8) DELTONES - They need to come together now more than ever, because they have a problem, calling their practice of "Listen to Your Heart" by Roxette "stiff", which is pretty much the SOP of the group so far. Can they break out of that?

They are a great ensemble. Let's get THAT out of the way. It was a good arrangement performed solidly, but the group just seems to be trying to find its own voice, and the performance - specifically the unison bodyrock - screamed of "Holy crap, we're not doing anything! Quick! Do something!" And because they lose focus on THAT, they lose focus on the dynamic, and it might cost them dearly. Ben is right, the breakdown ... broke down.

9) URBAN METHOD - Street cred is their middle name, and you want to talk about putting your own mark on the competition? This is the group that does it. But can they re-imagine "Poison" by Bell Biv Devoe?

My best friend, a former groupmate by the name of Eric Ellis, got a group of us alums together to just goof off of random songs, and this was one of our best. Urban Method... hits every one of the marks TWICE. And a very lucrative song choice given who's on the panel.... Shawn. THE performance of the night PERIOD.

10) VOCAL POINT - The main storyline of this group is going into the competition one crooner short. Well, fear not, BYU faithful, as Ben is back from Australia and his father's funeral. This week's closer... a bit of a tribute to their huckleberry friend and an attempt to keep everyone in good spirits... If you missed it this weekend (C-Note: and if you did, good on you)... time to cut "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins.

Technically proficient, but it doesn't dive into full-on attitude mode until the bridge ("Cut! Foot! Loose!"). It needed a little more edge, though, and a deeper arrangement. I will not sit here at my laptop and lie to you and say that I haven't heard this song done better (Straight No Chaser).

We've cut footloose, and we killed the radio star. Now it's time to cut a group and kill a dream.

Returning next week to sing another day... Pentatonix... and Urban Method! Joining them... Vocal Point. That leaves Afro-Blue and the Deltones on the brink.

... still in it ... is... AFRO-BLUE. The Deltones lose focus... and then they lose their box. They sing us out with their swan song, "Goodbye to You" by Michelle Branch.

My guilty pleasure? Judging others with a Power Board.

Power Rankings after Week Five:

Eight groups remain in the hunt. Next time... HIP-HOP BATTLE IS ON. Signing off from the Sing Off, it's Achordant #5 reminding you to support local & independent music!

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