The Sing-Off Top 16 Part 2 – Recap and VIDEOS

Eliminated: Messiah’s Men and Soul’d Out

So nice to watch a singing competition reality show that DOESN’T MAKE ME WANT TO SLIT MY THROAT halfway through. Fabulous singing, fantastic judging = Major entertainment. Sure there are backstories, but they are relatable and told subtly.

My favorite groups tonight were: Dartmouth Aires just cause I love me some wacky collegiate a’cappella, and these boys from Dartmouth are also pitch perfect. Pantatonnix. Wow. They navigate some tricky ground–creating complex arrangements for Top 40 numbers and then TOTALLY PULLING THEM OFF. Fantastic. And lastly, my boys from Boston, the doo-wop group, North Shore. Those guys are keeping alive an old fashioned but beloved style of singing. They are pros, yet they are soulful with personality to spare.

So many fantastic groups too choose from. However will I choose one fav? Who did you like tonight?

The brackets will continue next week. Each of the groups will sing two songs. The themes are Top 40 and Sixties.

The second set of 8 groups perform on the Sing-Off tonight. Two more groups will go home.

I’ll be live blogging right here.

Tonight’s groups: Sonos, Pantatonix, Soul’d Out, North Shore, Deltones, Messiah’s Men, Darthmouth Aires, The Collective, perform “Sing” by My Chemical Romance.

Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles and Shawn Stockman are our judges. Ben explains the thought process that goes into the decision to eliminate a group. Potential counts, people. Sara’s first time in the judge’s seat was emotional. Shawn says they are looking to BE INSPIRED.

Dartmouth Aires – “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder – This year’s Ivy league group is an all-male outfit from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. They wear silly clothes! They are all pals! Cliff jumping! Sky diving! They’ve got each other’s backs  y’all. The mom of lead singer Michael had a stroke. (Backstory!) The African American lead singer is really really fierce. Good choreography…the group holds together really well. Lots of fun to watch. Orange outfits and bowties crack me up. I love college groups! Shawn: This is what I’m talking about! Not just performing with your voices. You had me from the beginning to the end. Compliments the front man. Sara: Loved it. Wonderful marriage of physicality and breath control. Spot on. Ben: Nice work, came out of the gate kicking ass. Stayed that way the whole time. Should have brought the group dynamic just a little to highlight Michael’s lead.

Pantatonix – “ET” by Katy Perry – From Arlington TX. Best friends in High School created the group. One of their members was found through You Tube. They sing, pop, R&B and techno. Another fantastic group. Even better. The rhythm section is off the charts. I like the lead singer too. Falsetto singing the bridge also pretty awesome. The stuff they’re singing is complicated and they aren’t missing a beat. Sara: I feel like Katy’s in the room with us. That was Sick (no, these guys can sing). Those songs are not easy to do. Love that each of you had a moment in the song. Ben: I thought it was a really great ride, Kevin’s effects were wicked awesome, great low end. I’d take that song slow. You might have lost a little suspense. Really great. Shawn: Likes the lead singer. “I heard those riffs, off the hook”. I swear ya’ll were cheating. It’s so refreshing to hear a real bass. I enjoyed the performance.

Messiah’s Men – “People Get Ready” – Refugees from Liberia sing afro-centric gospel. Singing helped the men endure the refugee camps. I’m not digging the lead singer–he lacks musicality and good phrasing, but the harmonies are lush and gorgeous. Ben: Really big sound. Happy to have you guys here. Refreshing groove. The unisons were especially powerful. The key center is a moving target. It was really moving. Shawn: I honestly felt all three. (Gospel, African, R&B). I felt you, although it was not technically perfect. You have storytelling type voices. Very enjoyable to listen to and watch. Sara: It was a real pleasure to see you guys express tonight. Favorite part was at the end, when you all circled up. I’m so happy you’re here.

Sonos – “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak – Five singers from Los Angeles. They take songs that they like and “turn them on their ears”. They use effects pedals to augment their sound. Yes, that is cheating, so they will be leaving that behind. “It’s going to be hard without the pedals.” Yeah. They do seem a little lost without their pedals. Their bottom sound is very thin. Not much of a rhythm section there, and the female lead singer is off-pitch and boring. Shawn: That arrangement was real ambitious. That was so sick and fast. I would have enjoyed a little more of that playfulness. Too much space between the harmonies–too thin. Pretty good performance. Sara: One of the members sang with Sara in college. I loved the arrangement. Thought it was sexy. Interesting way to reinvent that song. Needed more dynamic range. Ben: Beatboxing is the future. It’s really tasteful. Arrangement was interesting. The sparseness is leaving your female singers a little naked. There’s no real baritone range to fill that in. Your killing it without the pedals.

Hm…either Sonos or Messiah’s Men will be sent home. I think…Sonos.

The first elimination: Dartmouth Airs and Penatonix are DECLARED SAFE. Sonos is SAFE. Messiah’s Men are going home. They sing “Sweet Chariot” as their swan song.

Season 2 winners, Committed are back and are singing us out to commercial. Show us how it’s done boys!

The Collective – “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele – Jeremy Lister from Season 2 put together another group. His little brother Jonathan is a member. They are all solo artists. Will they be able to blend? I’m real real sick of this song. I’m not digging this female lead singer so much. I want to like this group a lot, because I was a BIG fan of Jeremy’s group last year, but they are just a’ight. Solid, but boring. They aren’t bringing any surprises here. The other female singing harmony seems to be a better vocalist. Ben: Very solid, you were all clearly really good singers. Ruby, you owned the lead. You got a little bit more of the code to crack before it all gels. Shawn: He liked the lead singer, thinks the rest will come if they sing together longer. Sara: I thought your blend for being a new group was solid. Ruby, you are mesmerizing as a front woman.  The rest of the group was missing  something for Sara.

Soul’d Out – “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine in” – A high school group from Oregon. Calls themselves “a real life version of Glee”. I fully expect them to suck. Aw 10 of them are graduating. It really does sound like Glee. Yep. This is not good. The harmonies are off pitch, they’re sloppy. The voices aren’t mature. Not sure what they’re doing here. They should be performing at a school assembly. Shawn: You guys held your own on those songs. They are so intricate. You did it pretty well. I enjoyed it. Sara: Yay small towns! I love seeing big dreams from small times. So much energy. The chord structures were getting a little muddled to me. So much emotion. Ben:  The 1st half was hanging in their pretty well. The second half was tough. It’s hard to pull off. It tore apart in the end. I was an idiot when I was in high school. You guys are awesome.

North ShoreRun Around Sue – The guys were in a disco band in the 70’s. Dudes are BAHSTONIANS. They’ve had a tough year due to the economy. These guys are real pros, but they’ve got soul too. This is old school doo-wop. It absolutely has a place in this competition. I hope my homies stick around. LOVES the lead vocalist who is cool and energetic at the same time.  Sara: I’m in love with you all. You feel like family. You remind me of my dad. It’s done so impeccably. Ben: That was great. You guys are so relaxed. You don’t rush or push it. The bass lines are awesome. Really relatable bass part. All without a beat box. You guys rocked it. Shawn: You gentlemen did Do-Wop right. It shows these youngsters what it takes to be true performers. The way you delivered the lead was perfect.

Deltones – “Feels Like Home” by Randy Newman – The 5 original members were rejected from the University of Delaware a capella group. Aw. They’re a group of lovable losers. The Deltones taught them to love themselves. The lead girl has a gorgeous voice–not perfect by any stretch but lots of feeling and emotion. The backgrounds could be more dynamic, but the arrangement is beautiful. Solid. Sara: My heart is beating fast. Sara identifies with finding a home with her a capella group. Liked the arrangement, felt Jessica’s nerves. Ben: Jessica, your friends backed you up. Such a pretty arrangement. Came off to me as vulnerability. Post bridge, almost blew Jessica away with the female vocals, but overall, very moving. Shawn: I really felt the sincerity. It’s not always about how perfect a song is. You have a lot of potential.

The elimination is between the Deltones and Soul’d out. If there’s any justice in the world, Soul’d Out will be sent back to high school.

Elimination: North Shore and The Collective are safe. The Deltones are safe. Soul’d Out are eliminated. They’re swan song is “Mama I’m Coming Home”

About mj santilli 33207 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!