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The 3 Gs of The Sing-Off: Season 3, Episode 4

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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:

Great
North Shore is off the chain(ed melody). Although the haters may point out that North Shore slipped out of tune from time to time Monday night, the fact remains that they were the runaway stars of episode four of The Sing-Off. The breezy, fun, and masterfully appropriated “Lazy Song” was good, but I think we all knew the best was yet to come when the North Shore guys were in their element with 1960s music. Their take on “Unchained Melody” was engaging, a well-placed ballad, and … holy bejeezus, did you hear the soloist's falsetto?! Unlike MAXX Factor and Jerry Lawson before them, North Shore’s appeal is not wearing thin after a few songs—it’s building. The guys keep this up and they just might hang around until the finals.

Gone
Oh no, Sonos. Three episodes. That’s all it took for Sonos to transform from darlings of the a cappella underground to the most controversial group in mainstream a cappella (and if you think the latter claim is hyperbole, just check the ACB Facebook and Twitter comments!). Sonos underwhelmed the judges with “Wicked Game” on episode two, and although I thought they rebounded nicely with “Viva La Vida” and “I Want You Back,” I still won’t deny that the group was not living up to its reputation. Some people suggest Sonos was outgunned with their five person crew, or incapable without their pedals—while there’s some merit to either explanation, I think the truest reason Sonos didn’t thrive on NBC was context—their cool, mellow, intricate sound did not jive with what the big bang the general public is listening for. Unfortunately, the group seemed to prove their worst critics right with a really rough swan song—I’m chalking that up to the emotion of such a disappointing moment. Here’s hoping that this appearance on the show at least garners some new fans for Sonos’ live shows and recordings, where the group can practice its art in its element.

Give It A Second Look
Oh-oh, The Aires want some more. In an episode chock full of polarizing material, The Dartmouth Aires quietly assembled a pair of loud songs that weren’t perfect and weren’t sublime, but were plenty good enough to put some distance between them and the bottom three ensembles in their bracket. Now the guys progress to the final ten, where, against most predictions, they will square off with both of the other all-male collegiate groups. Perhaps most surprising of all, fewer and fewer people would be shocked if they survive the three-way blood bath. Keep an eye on these guys.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the updated ACB Sing-Off power rankings!

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