Contestants on The Sing-Off tackled many current hits this week, including many that are familiar to fans of Glee. Let's get right to the grades, shall we?
Round One: Today's Chart Toppers
Vocal Point - "Never Say Never" - Vocal Point continued without Ben whose father passed. I wouldn't be mentally at the point to return if I were Ben. The group's choreography was boy band cheesy which worked well. The karate motions were hysterical. I appreciated that there were multiple lead singers, but once in a while the background sounded muddled. My Grade: B+
Delilah - "Whataya Want From Me?" - The group wanted to experiment in arrangements, but it wasn't working. They should have considered listening to Pink's original version to see if the slight differences between her and Adam Lambert could have helped. I liked the sparse vocals in the beginning except for the fact that a few girls joined in a few seconds early. Their arrangement wasn’t perfect and they should have considered a few alternatives for the second verse. There are some powerful voices in the group, but they need to work on filling in the sound. My Grade: B+
Urban Method - "Just Can't Get Enough" - There was interesting drama because they couldn't keep the rapper in front this time, leading to America getting to hear other voices. I liked the layers of the voices in this group and they didn't need the gimmick of having of a rapper. The tempo change was fun, but the rapping was weak. My Grade: A-
Afro-Blue - "American Boy" - There was a minor issue with trying to Jazz-ify Estelle because the song needed to be recognizable. The group was also given a song that had a rapper in it and had to make it work. I liked the jazzy buildup of the song, though it took too long to get to the words. The tempo threw me off because it wasn't close to the original at all. I appreciated the experiment, but the last few seconds was better. My Grade: A-
Yellow Jackets - "Dynamite" - There were some range questions during practice, but they couldn't disappoint the country of Kenya. The first vocalist sounded like a weird robot and I really didn't like his tone. The second soloist sounded too white for the song, his pronunciation of words had a twang to it. The third soloist, sounded too Glee for the song. Either go all the way with the Glee concept or don't do it at all. My Grade: C+
Kinfolk 9 - "Price Tag" - The group worried about making up for the lost time as a whole ton of soloists, so they decided to split up to get pieces perfect. Interesting business tactic, but it doesn’t work for vocalists. I liked the silly introduction about having a good time and the playful sunglasses tug. They didn't recreate the wheel with their arrangement or their choreography. They also had a decent rapper, so we can stop with the Urban Method gimmick. I was a little confused because they ended the song a tad bit faster then they started. My Grade: B+
Round Two: Music of the 60s
Delilah - "Heatwave" – Sure, all the groups outfits were inspired by the 60s, but why did the makeup have to make them look like hookers? The arrangement didn't have a lot of highs and lows, but it made up for it with a lot of sass. My Grade: B-
Urban Method - "Dance to the Music" - I liked the opening because it sounded just like the original track. The baritone was great, but it was kind of funny that the vocalists had to pretend to be instruments. This group didn't need the rapper at all. My Grade: A-
Vocal Point - "The Way You Look Tonight" - The choice of tempo was interesting, but why did they chose a train and conga line for choreography? The end could have been vocally stronger, but it was a good effort. My Grade: B+
Afro-Blue - "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" - After having a jazzy version of "American Boy" it's surprising that the group decided to be very literal with Marvin Gaye in the beginning, the minor change in the chorus was just enough to differentiate them from the beginning. There were minor blending points near the end. My Grade: A-
Yellow Jackets - "Can't Take My Eyes off of You" - The Glee-lead wasn't the best choice for the song because his voice didn't match the power of Frankie Valli and the arrangement sounded wonky behind him. His flirting can't help America. My Grade: C
Kinfolk 9 - "Let It Be" - Kinfolk 9 was given one of the easiest songs to transform into multiple part arrangements because the song was so simplistic to begin. There is a line where someone could over-sing the song and destroy the message and this was one of those moments where they drew the line between tasteful and tacky. I didn't like the falsetto, but the low sections were nice. My Grade: B-
The six groups were squished onto rafters and given their fate. Vocal Point, Urban Method, Yellowjackets, and Afro-Blue were safe. While Kinfolk 9 had a strong showing, their lack of experience was their downfall. They left singing "Loser." At least they kept a sense of humor.
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