The Top 9 groups on the sing off perform Party Anthems. The bottom 2 sing in the Ultimate Sing Off and then one goes home. We’re live blogging it all here. Join us!
The show begins with a sassy group number. It’s a medley of a bunch of fun party songs from Ke$sha. The judges are wearing bright, neon glasses. The country group is having zero problems singing dancy music. I sense a group that will go far.
Nick reminds us once again NO INSTRUMENTS. Did you hear that? Ben is totally ready to get his party on. A little chat about why the Princeton Footnotes were eliminated. They thought Voiceplay finally revealed who they were. They needed to stay.
Vocal Rush – “Gonna Make You Sweat” by CNC Music Factory – High school group from Oakland, CA. Fresh faced kids dance with heart and personality. Hello Glee! Jewel congratulates the female lead singer for starting off the song alone. She loved the breakdown especially. Shawn admires their poise. He congratulates the female rythym singer. The tempo wasn’t consistent, but really good. Ben says they have to tighten up. They were missing their backbeat. But so much heart and personality. A great sound for only having two guys.
Home Free – “Live is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts – Country vocal group. They promise to kick it up a notch with…dance moves! The Calle Sol girls gave them some dance tips. “My hips lie. They don’t tell the truth,” said one band member. The dancing wasn’t all that. But so what. These guys are vocal wonders. The lead singer has the voice of an angel, what a beautiful tone! The bass player is deep and true. Tight harmonies and well arranged. These guys are the real deal. Shawn thinks they had…a couple of moves. It’s good they stay with what they know. The lead singer is a star. The band has great components, says Shawn. Ben compliments the drummer for holding the groove down. Jewel loves the boys. She admires the way they sell country without instruments. No banjo window dressing, here.
Voiceplay – “Play The Funky Music” by Wild Cherry – They escaped the bottom 2 last night. What a great arrangement. There’s a heck of a lot going on in this song, but it all works. They add some modern touches like a rap break that modernizes the song, but still keeps the retro funk elements. “That’s how you come back and take care of business,” says Shawn. Smooth and seamless, he says. The variations and inventions in the song really worked this time, says Ben. Great modulation. Bassline was tight. Jewel says bringing out the personality made the difference.
Street Corner Renaissance – “Do You Love Me” by the Contours – Elderly do-wop group scoffs at the younguns who think they are party animals! They don’t know party. One of the dudes learned some of that new-fangled beatboxing. That was fun. A little sloppy, but fun. They’ve got a bass, but no rhythm section. Will that trip them up later on? Still, these guys are a blast. And they are quite the fancy dancers. “You guys show us younger dudes that the music industry isn’t just a young man’s sport,” says Shawn. Ben thought it was fantastic, and that it’s not necessary to have a drummer. Jewel says they prove that less is more.
Element – “Raise Your Glass” by Pink – All girl group. They haven’t been together long. Hm. There wasn’t a lot going on in this performance. I found myself drifting off in the middle. The arrangement could have been snappier. Jewel thinks they did a great job. Ben loved the bass line. The party started at the bridge, when the singers split off. They shouldn’t save their best stuff for the middle. Their blend is getting better. Shawn liked the two singers singing together, but there should have been solos. He wanted more.
AcoUstiKats – “Hey Ya” by Outkast – College a cappella group. They have much confidence in their ability to party. One of the boys’ moms is the all-around group mom and choreographer. I thought this group was kind of a hot mess last night. This performance was better, and a lot of fun. At one point they end up out in the audience passing out Polaroids. Cheeky. Ben says they’re a lot of fun. They held the tempo. He advises they savor the groove. Shawn likes the pink shoes and is also wearing polka dot socks. He was worried the performance would be cheesy. Maybe split up the vocal parts between singers. Nick calls mom “acousticouger.” Hm. Jewel thought the groove was a little funky, but great dynamics.
Calle Sol – Livin La Vida Loca – Hispanic group from Puerto Rico. In order to fill up the sound, one of the girls is going to beat box. Why have they slowed this song up to a dirge? This performance is really boring. It’s becoming clear that this group has problems they aren’t going to easily solve. Shawn says arrangement is everything. Sometimes the dancing is a hinderance. Didn’t like that the song started out as a ballad. Jewel thinks the mid-range is lacking. Their solution didn’t cut it for her. The tempo changes didn’t work. Aw. The girls look like they’re going to cry. Ben says the party has to be supported by music. Tighten up the music.
Ten – “Hot in Herre” by Nelly – This group has really distinctive lead voices. They’re all back up singers. But the harmonies need some work. I’m not crazy about this arrangement. The bridge is pretty good, though. Nice breakdown. Nick asks Ben if he’s ready to take his clothes off. Ben says not until it’s 98 degrees. Yuk yuk. Ben LOVED the lead vocals. The band is 7 up from 5. But the solos are so good, they almost don’t need a band. Jewel loved the reggae breakdown. Shawn says they were cohesive. The judges are hard on them, because they know they are capable of more. He’s waiting for them to take him to church.
The Filharmonic by Montel Jordan – This is How We Do It – Young group of Filipino Americans. They’re going for a sexy vibe here. Well. One of the members lost his young sister to an allergic reaction. Sad. These guys have the 90s vibe down pat. Great choreography. The arrangements are intricate and fun. Plus, these boys are cute! The boy band elements could draw a young fan base. Jewel loved it. They stepped it up this week. Shawn says they started it from the gate. He warns them to stay on key. But, an exciting performance. Ben says they have a good sound. A slick mid-range. It sounded like a record. They tell Nico his sister would be proud.
Now, it’s time for The Ultimate Singoff! Who will be in the bottom 2? Vocal Rush, Calle Sol, AkUsticats and Element are in the bottom 4. Either Vocal Rush or Calle Sol will move on. Vocal Rush is safe. Calle Sol will sing again in a show down. Either AkoUsticats or Element will move on. Element will move on.
AcoUstiKats and Calle Sol will face off against each other in The Ultimate Sing Off.
The two battle with “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. Both groups have their weaknesses. Calle Sol’s lead singing is better. Way better. But their harmonies are weak. AcoUstikats aren’t perfect, they’re sloppy, but a lot more fun to watch. I’d give it to the AcoUstiKats. Ben thought the AcoUstikats delivered some emotion, but it dragged them down. Calle Sol still had problems. The judges save AcoustiKats.
Calle Sol Are Eliminated
Tomorrow, the Top 8 tackle #1 hits.