Five groups took to the Sing-Off stage for R&B performances last night. Who hit the right note? Who was sent home? A grade-filled rundown is below...
Current R&B Hits
Dartmouth Aires - Ignition (Remix) - The Aires worried about harmonization and with less time there was more pressure to get work done. Nic, the music director, lost control of his group. I thought the choice of song was silly. Why do something that wasn't their strength? Their lead singer didn't really match R. Kelly and the other singers actually sounded closer. I know the competition isn't about sounding like the original performer, but it would have made the accuracy better. The ending felt rushed and the lead singer lost the tempo as well. My Grade: B
Urban Method - Knock You Down - After having a strong set of performances last week, Katie was filled with confidence. They picked a song that fits their adventure on the show. The song started right off the bad, I thought a solo voice may have been a better way to open the song, but Katie's vocals were nice. The part about being shot out of the sky wasn't the best. I thought the weird medical section was creative, but not the best choice. The ending section sounded like a lot of noise and Katie had to push even harder to be heard over the chaos. Katie delivered, but the arrangement could have helped the group if it was less noisy. My Grade: A-
Vocal Point - Every Little Step - Oh no Vocal Point is white. Who knew? They decided to try to combine whatever soul they had with the best choreography they could. The beginning choreography looked like a cheesy 90 boy band, which was perfect for the song and the group. The arrangement was basic but since it was cleanly executed it turned out great. Whoever did the really deep voice was amazing and the break was great. My Grade: A
Afro-Blue - We Belong Together - The team survived being in the bottom and the group struggled with Ne-Yo's "Closer," so they switched songs. They struggled with arrangement and lyrics. I liked the light arrangement in the beginning, which helped emphasized the song's emotion. The chorus had moments of chaos, but afterwards the emotion of the song picked up. My Grade: B+
Pentatonix - OMG - The group loved that they could sound more urban, but with a really religious Kevin didn't like the provocative nature. Wait, the lead singer isn't gay? I'd figure that would have been more of a concern than raunchy lyrics. The group started with a solo voice and the slow tempo worked well. When the song picked up, the tempo seemed too fast to really capture the club spirit of the song, unless you were drinking at this a'capella club. I like the group and their shifts between tempos, but the beat boxing wasn't the best for the song. How did Kevin think that the choreography wasn't provocative? My Grade: B+
Dartmouth Aires - Midnight Train to Georgia - We get a lot of the "I want to win" videos for the second half, so I'm not even going to worry about those. I get it, everyone worked hard to get here. Their choice of a song that's well known for Gladys Knight singing was interesting because it's so closely associated with a woman singing it. When they emphasized the Pips section of the original the song worked, but were they depending too much on the almost choir-like arrangement or did they think going to the church would give the spirit that the song needed? My Grade: B+
Urban Method - It's Your Thing - I liked the really powered opening and the sweetening of the arrangement when the song kicked in. Having all the females get a chance to sing during the song showed range. They even allowed the beat boxers and bass line to have a solo section. The whole thing was great and probably the best arrangement of the classics. My Grade: A-
Vocal Point - Ain't Too Proud to Beg - The opening had wavering voices. At this (vocal) point, anyone can see that they are generally overpowered by the Aires. I think the group tried too hard to portray soul. They were worried about looking like random white kids during their first performance, but they were really white during this performance. They hit a few sour notes when they hit high falsetto. My Grade: C+
Afro-Blue - Best of My Love - I liked really girl-group opening of the performance where the guys were the backup band. I know the group attempted this before, but it's become signature. There were one or two stray voices during the chorus. The second verse to the ending was better. Some of the ending continued the screechy high notes, but I know the original had that same multiple level of high notes. My Grade: B
Pentatonix - Let's get it on - I thought that the choice of song was an interesting selection to show versatility. They couldn't depend on their electronic sound and instead emphasized that they had strong vocals outside of cute choreography and beat box stutters. How did Kevin not have issues with the group picking this song? Double Standards Much? This song screams "Let's Have Sex Right Now." The vocal runs at the end were great. My Grade: A
So, who went home? Vocal Point earned fewer votes than Afro-Blue, the bottom pair of acts, as another all-male group got the boot. They sang out to Michael Buble's "Home" and I thought that it was a smart arrangement and it fit their character.