In addition to full reviews of each episode of The Sing-Off, this season we will offer extended coverage most weeks via the 3 Gs format.
Great: Represents my thoughts on the best performance(s) of the night—these are the star-makers, the tearjerkers, the ones we’re all going to remember.
Gone: Represents my thoughts on the final showings from the group(s) we’re seeing for the last time in a given week.
Give it a second look: Represents the act(s) you might not remember, or that we might not have expected much from, but which delivered just the same, and deserve another listen.
Here are my thoughts from this week’s episode:
The elder statesmen of this season Shore up their sound. The favorites heading into this episode of The Sing-Off were Sonos and North Shore. While Sonos wasn’t as weak as the judges or some casual viewers have intimated, there’s no question that the guys from North Shore took their rightful place as the class of episode two. Cool, confident, fun and musically impeccable, North Shore nailed this performance of “Runaround Sue.” The question remains whether they’ll bring doo-wop back into vogue or if the audience will tire of and turn on the old school sound this season, akin to what happened with Jerry Lawson and The Talk of the Town in 2010. One also has to wonder how North Shore will pull off more contemporary song selections if they do last deep into the competition. For this week, though, when the guys were doing their thing, they were simply awesome.
Everybody “Sing”s.: I’m usually not a big fan of all-cast numbers, but the synergy of a contextually perfect song with the diverse talents of this week’s groups made for an outstanding opening to episode two. Excellent performances all around, and if The Dartmouth Aires’s entrance (around the 1:50 mark in the video below) didn’t give you goosebumps, you’re probably watching the wrong show.
Messiah’s Men "Get Ready," get set, get gone. The season is still young, but no elimination thus far has been more heartbreaking than that of Messiah’s Men. The guys from Liberia fell victim to a tremendously competitive bracket. As strong as they were on “People Get Ready,” it is fair to argue that their performance style was least palatable to the viewing public. Messiah’s Men continued to make a case for themselves with their sterling rendition of “Wade in the Water” as their swan song. It’s a shame to see them go so early, but like the class act they are, they took the early exit and the show experience in general with tremendous dignity and poise.
The high school squad gets Soul’d all way Out of contention. Soul’d Out deserves every bit of the acclaim they’ve received as a standout high school group. With that being said, the group just couldn’t stand up to the talents of the groups surrounding them on the Sing-Off stage. The bass and perc are already advanced well beyond their years. Give all of these singers 3-4 years to develop, I’d wager they would give any group on this show a run for their money.
Give It A Second Look
The Deltones provide college kids a home. Just about every group on The Sing-Off this season has had some sort of sob story to bolster viewer sympathy and inject the groups with a little extra bit of personality to distinguish them from the rest. As sob stories go, I’ve heard a lot of people rail against The Deltones for appropriating a near-universal experience as their own—the story of coming to college alone and finding community in their a cappella group.
The cynics are right—this story is not belong exclusively to The Deltones. But think about the audience they’re performing for. A goodly portion of the people watching The Sing-Off at home don’t know what it’s like to be in a collegiate a cappella group. I’ve heard dozens of people tell essentially the same story about how they found their footing at college through their a cappella groups, or how they don’t think they would have stuck it out for four years without that part of their collegiate lives. The Deltones may have spoken to a common experience—but what’s wrong with sharing that experience just a little bit more?