Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Sing-Off Season 3: Rocking Out & Goin' Country (Episode 8)

written by AL
DAM NATION, Contributor

On this episode of The Sing-Off, the remaining 6 groups competed with Rock & Country songs before an elimination to decide the final five. With this week's categories, each group had to step outside of their comfort zone in some way. No group had the obvious upper hand, except for maybe Pentatonix, who were given the opening and closing slots this week. Props to the costume department! There were plenty of ripped shirts and leather then plaid and ruffled skirts; even Nick Lachey put on his cowboy hat!

Group Performance: Wake Up by Arcade Fire

Onto the song ratings!


Born to Be Wild
This group is so hardcore! Pentatonix continue to blow up the stage with their intensity and artistry. They literally sounded like they were revving up motors in the beginning. How do they do that? And then they exploded into space! Scott's lead was great, and Kirsten's back up vocals were amazing, I couldn't even tell she was sick. High marks, as usual. 9.5/10

Dartmouth Aires
We're Not Gonna Take It
They really fill up the stage with their sound. I liked the bite that the lead singers had in their vocals, but the rest of the boys sounded a little too chorale for me. Then they actually did a choir boy style chorus which made me laugh. This wasn't as amazing as their performance last week, but still really good. Fun and entertaining. 8/10

American Girl
Something about this didn't work for me. I wasn't familiar with the song so I looked up the original, and I have to admit Afro-Blue failed to capture its feel. They didn't have a solid rock groove, or even a strong connection to what they were singing. It still sounded good, it was fun to listen to, and the arrangement flowed, I just wish it had rocked more. 7.5/10

Dream On
This gave me chills. Their lead singer Amy is AMAZING!!! I feel like it could have been so easy for a lot of people to flub those screaming high notes but she delivered them effortlessly. I also felt Delilah was really connected to the song here. I also loved the fans blowing their hair. This all-girl group does, indeed, have a hardcore edge. 9/10

Urban Method
Here I Go Again
The mix of guys and girls in the chorus helped fill out their sound, but for most of the song they just sounded loud and weren't blending well. The added rap didn't really work for me, but it gave Urban Method a chance to do what they do best. It's telling that at their best, they still aren't as strong as some of the other groups. 7.5/10

Vocal Point
You Really Got Me
It rocked, but it still had those annoyingly cheesy Vocal Point quirks that just don't work for me. Nasally high notes, "bow-wows," you know what I'm talking about. But they brought a lot of energy and let loose on stage. I felt like the lead singer was channeling his inner rock star, but it was a little too over the top and cartoony for my likes. 8/10


Dartmouth Aires
Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)
This was an instance where they could have "reigned in" their theatricality just a bit, in order to better serve the song. Their main singer, Michael, is great, but this time around I think I would have preferred it if he had taken a back seat and let the other dude, Will, sing. He had a deeper more country feel to his voice, but I understand why they doubled up the lead, because it sounded like the group would have completely overpowered Will if he sang alone. Great song choice, though. 8/10

Need You Now
WOW. Afro-Blue really held back with this one and it really worked. You could feel that they wanted to add a few more riffs and jazzy elements in the middle, but they brought it back in and it ended solidly. It definitely felt like they were more connected with this song than they were with the previous one. Ben interestingly pointed out that this show doesn't have a jazz night. Maybe they should add that category so groups like Afro-Blue and last season's Groove for Thought can really show off. 8.5/10

Urban Method
Before He Cheats
The girls of Urban Method finally stood out front and gave a confident performance. They owned the song. It was much better than their lackluster Rihanna medley last week. I actually like this group best when they aren't singing urban pop songs. Weird, huh? Very strong and sassy performance. 8/10

If I Die Young
It seems Delilah's signature arrangement style is to start out with single soloist and build from there. It works for them since they all seem to be strong soloists, and even so, they blend beautifully. I didn't notice any of the pitch problems the judges mentioned. Maybe it sounds different live? Whatever, I appreciated that they gave such an understated, emotional performance. 9/10

Vocal Point
Life is a Highway
I'm going to be honest: I don't think these guys have a lot of depth, but they do have some talent. They gave a pretty authentic, straightforward performance. It sounded a lot like the Rascal Flatts version. They went into the key change strong and brought the chorus home. Entertaining. 9/10

Stuck Like Glue
This was a really sweet and smooth peformance. I wasn't expecting the reggae remix on the second verse, but it sounded cool. It reminded me of their '60s song, "Piece of My Heart." It's like Pentatonix is everyone's favorite group and they know it, so they could kind of relax with this song. Hopefully, they aren't getting too comfortable, they haven't won yet! 9/10


Based off the judges comments, I knew Afro-Blue and Delilah would be in the bottom two. Neither of them deserved it, but the judges tend to be pretty hard on them both. It was still shocking to see Delilah eliminated. I was so sure we'd see them perform with Sara Bareilles in the finale. I would much rather have seen Urban Method go home. Honestly, it's not that much of a suprise since Delilah had already faced elimination twice before. At least they went out strong with Survivor by Destiny's Child as their Swan Song. Still sad to see them go, though.


For an extra bit of fan fun, see what former former contestants you can spy in the audience! This episode I saw members of Sonos and Kinfolk 9. I even caught a glimpse of Kenton Chen from last years group, the Backbeats (I also just found out they have an album coming out next week, Nov 15)!

Only three more weeks left in the competition! Watch next week for the Rhythm and Blues Revue!


Anonymous said...

Are you going to be posting the downloads for this?


I don't have them yet. I will post the link when I get them.

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