Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Sing-Off Season 3: The Rhythm and Blues Revue (Episode 9)

written by AL
DAM NATION, Contributor

This week, The Sing-Off introduced a new genre challenge for it's contestants: sexy and smooth Rhythm & Blues. The judge's top five groups had to perform two R&B songs each, one contemporary and one classic.

I'm not sure if it's because one group is clearly on top (Pentatonix!) or because this season is so much longer than the previous ones, but this episode felt like it was just going through the motions. At this point, we know what all the groups are capable of, so there aren't too many surprises left, and for reasons unknown, they dropped the Sing-Off battle they introduced a couple weeks back. At least we're getting more perfomances from the cream of the crop, because I know we'll all be missing them once this competition is over.

Group Performance: R&B Medley I Got You (I Feel Good), ABC, and Crazy In Love

Let's rate the performances!


Dartmouth Aires
Ignition (Remix)
Um... this was kind of awkward. At least, they knew sexy wasn't their strong suit and they kept it playful. Vocally, this was on par with most of the other Aires performances. Xavier singing lead was a nice change of pace, and his voice suited the song. 7/10

Urban Method
Knock You Down
There's something about this group that doesn't work for me. The harmonies weren't blending that well, and I don't really like it when Katie sings in her lower register. Mike loves stealing the attention when he raps and I think that takes away from the group as a whole. But the low end was really strong. I'm not sure why the judges like them so much. 7/10

Vocal Point
Every Little Step
Is it just me, or did Keith totally sound like adult Michael Jackson? Their choreography was really impressive, and I loved when their bass Roger stepped out. The judges rightly gave Tanner props for his beatboxing. I've gotta say though, I didn't see soul from McKay, just dorkiness. 8/10

We Belong Together
This is what I was waiting for. I was hoping Afro-Blue would be able to stand out on R&B night and they didn't let me down. It was a very smooth and emotional performance. At times, it did sound like they were pushing, but overall, this song felt right for them. 8.5/10

It was kind of funny that they had to self-censor the song a little bit because of their beatboxer's religious beliefs. Especially considering what they sang in the second half. But staying on topic, this was hot. Club beats fit them like a glove. Like Shawn said, it's getting tiring to keep saying how good they are. 9/10


Dartmouth Aires
Midnight Train to Georgia
Wow, that's a lot of pips! If I could make one criticism, I would appreciate it if Michael would explore the softer, smoother side of his voice. Sometimes it's there, but most of the time his lead sounds loud and rough and it didn't work for me on this song. Power does not necessarily equal soul. 7.5/10

Urban Method
It's Your Thing
I feel like this group struggles with finding their identity. They should have just let Kim sing the entire lead, she was amazing. The breakdown in the middle was good. But it seems like no Urban Method song is complete without a little belting by Katie and a little rapping by Mike. I don't completely hate them, but they need to go soon. 7.5/10

Vocal Point
Ain't Too Proud to Beg
Can I say, that for a bunch of white guys singing the Temptations, this didn't suck? Seriously, they did a nice job. They had the dance moves and everything. I didn't agree with a few of the chords changes they made, and I know what Shawn was talking about when he said it sounded a little too pretty, but it was still a solid performance. 8/10

Best of My Love
I do like Danielle a lot but this was not my favorite Afro-Blue performance. It was so staccato; the melody was bouncing all over the place and I think that's what Ben was referring to when he pointed out the "holes in the chorus." I blame the song choice more than the arrangement. This wasn't bad, but I expect better. 7.5/10

Let's Get It On
Pentatonix does it again! I loved the dynamics and the way they stayed close to the classic feel of the song, while keeping the modern style of their vocals. They really chose the perfect song and delivered it well. Best performance of the night. 9.5/10


Since the judges kind of foreshowed which groups would be in the bottom two with their comments, it was not a surprise to see Vocal Point and Afro-Blue on the chopping block, but it was a shocker to see Vocal Point sent home. I would have picked either Urban Method or the Dartmouth Aires before either of them. Although Afro-Blue has been having a difficult time connecting with the judges and the audience on a consistent basis, it would have been a complete tragedy to see them get eliminated on Rhythm & Blues night. Vocal Point has been more consistent, but honestly, I've never been the biggest fan of their sound. I thought their Swan Song performance, Home by Michael Buble, was appropriate but terribly pitchy. They must not have been expecting to sing it either.

Next week: Group Master Mixes, Judges Choice, and then America Votes!


Anonymous said...


Will u upload the songs of this episode soon ? (Itunes Version or mp3)

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