Last week, hip-hop was the order of the day, but the
Collective and the Rochester Yellowjackets couldn't roll with the rest of the
crew, sending us into the first-ever Sing-Off showdown. After the dust settled,
the Nashville group was asked to hang up their mics and say their goodbyes. Now
seven remain in the hunt for $200,000 and the Sony Music recording contract.
But first, let's get a little spooky this
Halloween with a medley of "This Is Halloween" (Danny Elfman), "Werewolves of
London" (Warren Zevon), and Gordon's personal Halloween favorite, Ray Parker
1) URBAN METHOD - They've been riding the
innovative wave of rap-a-pella since the very start of this competition, but
they're going to have to put their singers in the spotlight, as they draw a
medley of Rihanna hits "What's My Name", "Umbrella", and "Only Girl (In the
Let's get something straight. If you've ever seen
or heard Rihanna perform... well, Rihanna is sex. You have to ooze sensuality
when you do her songs. The ladies sound the part in the solos, but I'm not sure
that they look the part. Technically not a fault, but there was something
missing. Almost like they were concentrating on doing things that they're not
accustomed to doing, and we get this as a result. And the blend from song to
song could stand to be a little more creative. Sara calls the group out on their
confidence in their performance, and I'm not one to disagree with a fellow a
2) VOCAL POINT - They're good Utah boys who stand
together through thick and thin, as demonstrated through their unity in the face
of tragedy... so how would they fare against the original rock'n'roll bad boy
Elvis? They'll find out and so will we when they do "Don't Be Cruel", "Can't
Help Falling in Love", and "Jailhouse Rock".
Well, if they were going to riff on Elvis, they
picked the three safest songs to do so. The thing that gets me is that they had
a chance to apply the creative juices that they did last week with the hip-hop
number, and they end up sounding like an Elvis cover band. The strongest
performance of the three creatively and technically: "Can't Help Falling In
Love", which doesn't really have to sound like anything. So that was open
season, and they went to town on it. But other than that, the medley didn't
bring anything to the party.
3) AFRO-BLUE - They proved that they could blend
anything with their trademark jazz sound. But now they have to step it up with a
trio of Janet hits: "What Have You Done For Me Lately", "When I Think Of You",
and "Miss You Much". Call it the Rhythm Nation medley.
They played to their strengths and the
transitions were almost effortless, but the scatting was a bit of a cop-out.
Can't think of a transition? Scat on it. But the arrangement on "When I Think Of
You" and "Miss You Much" was distinctly unique to this group. Pitchwise, dead
on, but still, it needed a little bit of treble to bring it all together.
4) DARTMOUTH AIRES - These guys are classic
college crazy. But can they match the vocals of a classic college staple?
They're going to do three of the best from Queen: "Killer Queen", "Bohemian
Rhapsody", and "Somebody to Love". What, no "Flash Gordon", "Bicycle", and "Who
Wants to Live Forever"? SHENANIGANS!
Wanted to see more of the group in the numbers.
Got it during "Bohemian Rhapsody", but lost the trademark high C. What the hell,
mate. Anyway, the singing was great and the performance is inspired as always,
but the arrangement could stand to be a little less... well, you remember Fannin
Family from episode 1? Yeah, they were eliminated on that crap. Just saying.
5) PENTATONIX - Showing that quality doesn't
necessarily mean quantity, we have a quintet that's been slowly rising in the
ranks. Can they build off of last week's success with Britney's "Oops... I Did
It Again!", "Toxic", and "Hold It Against Me"?
Smart choices doing something old, something
iconic, and something new. Because that's what Britney is, essentially, old,
iconic, and new. They're taking ANOTHER risk. So we know that they like taking
risks. Arrangement works from to A to B to C, and the transitions are seamless.
And a little of their own magic is always a good thing. Just good life sense...
Something gets thrown at you, you throw it back with a little bit of your own.
6) DELILAH - This band of Sing-Off all-stars has
been slipping a bit, but they get it back last week. Now they have to build on
that. They're going with a trio from Alicia Keys, "Fallin'", "A Woman's Worth",
and "If I Ain't Got You".
The good news, three songs that go well together.
The bad news, you do that, you end up sounding the same. That's the risk you
take. Again, they're "arranging for Delilah", but it stands to reason that if
you have a shot to go for it, then you go for it. The soloists fail in that
regard, but the group blends effortlessly. But the tempo started to go nuts in
the middle of "A Woman's Worth" for no apparent reason. In the end, it's safe.
And they're going to be safe for it. But again, you're doing no favors to anyone
less yourself by going the safe route.
7) YELLOWJACKETS - These Rochester students
barely survive to sing another day after winning the showdown by a 2-1 decision.
Now they have to prove that it was no accident by closing with Billy Joel's "The
River of Dreams", "She's Always a Woman", and "Uptown Girl", three songs that
lend themselves to a cappella nicely.
... I would've picked "The Longest Time", "The
River of Dreams", and "Lullaby", because they stream so well. As it is right
now, it was a mite flat to start on "River", there needed to be a little more
group dynamic in "Always a Woman", and the transition to "Uptown Girl" was just
not thought through. At all. Overall, it was lifeless, and the Yellowjackets
could be in a world of hurt after tonight.
Before we get to a decision, we get a bonus
performance from season 2's champions Committed, with a Chris Brown medley of
"Forever", "With You", and "Yeah 3X". All I can say is... buy the CD, damn it.
Now that we've all seen what sweet victory looks
like, it's time to see what bitter defeat looks like. One of the seven groups
has just sang their coda. Moving on to the next round... Dartmouth Aires...
Pentatonix... and Vocal Point. Joining them... Delilah and Afro-Blue. That
leaves Urban Method and the Yellowjackets in the bottom two.
Leaving tonight ... THE YELLOWJACKETS. They sing
us out with their swan song, "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba.
You got knocked down, now get back up for...
Power Rankings after Week Seven:
Six groups remain in the hunt. Next time...we're
a little bit country and a little bit rock'n'roll. Signing off from the Sing Off, it's Achordant #5 reminding
you to support local & independent music!
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