THE SING-OFF “Top 10 Groups: Guilty Pleasure Music” Review

THE SING-OFF Season 3 (6)

THE SING-OFF “Top 10 Groups: Guilty Pleasure Music” Season 3, Episode 5 – Tonight’s episode of The Sing-Off started off the night with a group rendition of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long.” Although both brackets combined to make the top 10 for tonight’s competition, they were still judged in two separate sections which was just as irritating as the original bracket method.

Rather than having all 10 groups compete against one another with a double elimination at the end, they simply modified the bracket arrangement. It is difficult to tell if one of the groups eliminated tonight would have been safe if they had been competing in a different half of the show against different opponents.

The Yellow Jackets started off the first half of tonight’s episode with their arrangement of the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.” Something about their performance actually made me uncomfortable. At first, I laughed while they paraded on stage but I quickly wanted the cheese to stop. The judges love it, but it’s a little much for me.

Delilah wound up in the bottom two of the first half of The Sing-Off with their performance of Irene Cara’s “Flashdance – What A Feeling.” The judges commented that they were slow to get into the harmonies and that they still haven’t cracked the code for arrangements that work for their voices. I have yet to be moved by their performances the way I was in their first week on The Sing-Off.

Up against Delilah in the bottom two was North Shore who performed Huey Lewis and The News’ “Power of Love.” I’m pretty disappointed that they got booted in this round and based on the audible boos coming from the studio audience, I don’t think I’m alone. I loved the opening to their arrangement and I was impressed by what they were able to pull off 2 days before the actual performance

The Collective performed Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” The judges are still smitten with this group but I’m still not sold. Ben’s imitation of Ruby’s insane vibrato had me laughing out loud though, so that was worth it.

The Dartmouth Aires performed Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” and Shawn’s criticism that it lacked that iconic bass sound was precisely what I was missing from their performance as well. Ben commented that he had been waiting for Clarke’s crazy dance moment. Ben, we were all waiting for that moment… and it was awesome.

The second half of The Sing-Off had my personal choices for top two facing off against one another for the first time tonight – Afro-Blue and Pentatonix.

Afro-Blue performed a great arrangement of Whitney Houston’s “Dance With Somebody” which somehow sounded different from what they normally sing, but still very much their own. They took the judges’ advice to keep the arrangement simple, and while the judges approved, I kind of missed their more complicated arrangements. They did everything right, they sounded great, they took the judge’s advice from earlier weeks and their choreography was adorable, but somehow they still ended up in the bottom two of this round. I couldn’t tell you why.

Pentatonix’s last minute decision to switch performance songs to “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles definitely paid off. As Shawn said, they sounded like they were sent from the future to save a capella. Their sound is so big for such a small group and I think that’s a testament to their solid drum and bass section and the versatility of the three vocalists.

The Deltones performed Roxette’s “Listen To Your Heart” and I think the judges made the right call sending them home. Most of their criticisms about the dynamics of their performances were right on.

Urban Method performed Bel Biv Devoe’s “Poison.” I was impressed with their ability to sound so similar to the original material, but at the same time I would have liked to hear a more unusual arrangement of the song.

Finally, Vocal Point returned with their full group to perform an exciting arrangement of Kenny Loggin’s “Footloose.” They had a good sound for so much choreography, and I agree with Shawn’s comment that they have been able to show their diversity in their performances.

I’m not anti-Delilah, but based on their performances tonight and throughout The Sing-Off thus far, I think sending North Shore home was the wrong choice. This was probably the weakest North Shore performance, but their weakest performance garnered criticism amounting to “more emotion” while Delilah had been plagued with pitch and harmony problems in almost every performance.

It’s hard to avoid imagining all sorts of superficial marketing reasons for North Shore getting the boot tonight. I would have liked to see at least a few more North Shore performances since they seemed so willing to step outside of their comfortable doo-wop genre to compete with the younger teams and they always did it so well. I’m not going to lie – it’ll take me a little while to get over this one.