The 3 Gs of The Sing-Off: Season 3, Episode 5

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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
Afro-Blue wants to dance with somebody. The Howard University kids made a believer out of me in episode three. This week, they shored up their place as the top performing group on the show, even if their bottom two placement from the judges doesn’t support that. Afro-Blue is having fun and singing with musical proficiency—a combination that should make other groups very nervous as the competition continues.

Vocal Point kicks off their Sunday shoes. While their fellow all-male collegiate squads stalled out (The Aires) or hung on for dear life (The YJs), Vocal Point reasserted themselves as the group to beat coming out of that cohort. Fun, high energy, and pure rock-n-roll—Vocal Point will not go softly into the night.

Gone
North Shore says goodnight. In one of the more controversial eliminations in recent Sing-Off memory, North Shore took an early bow Monday night. To be fair, I’ll concede that Monday night’s showing was by far their weakest yet, and that I wouldn’t have been much happier to have seen Delilah go home. Couple all that with how hard the group struggled to get a song together at all this week, and the hip hop-themed episode looming next Monday, and it does make some sense that they were one of the groups going home. Nonetheless, after the guys’ inspired work in their first two episodes, it’s still a shocker for them to leave us so soon. Here’s hoping the exposure of The Sing-Off will bolster their business away from the show.

Goodbye to The Deltones. The (big) little group that could has finally petered out. Where other groups have shown improvement, or had the opportunity to demonstrate their range, The Deltones seem to remain more or less where they started—a very good collegiate a cappella group that was simply outgunned by the time the fifth episode of The Sing-Off got rolling. The group’s swan song—an earnest, emotional rendition of Michelle Branch’s “Goodbye to You,” called back to what’s best about the group. My hat’s off to them for a stellar run, doing the best they could on the show.

Give it a second look
The Collective will survive. Prior to this week, I never thought I’d accuse The Collective of being understated (or that I’d recognize them in a positive way in this column). While their take on Gloria Gaynor was imperfect, it did demonstrate maturity, restraint and a well-blended sound for what was, by far, The Collective’s best performance to date. The group may have gelled at just the right time to actually make a push to the late stages of this show.