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The 3 Gs of The Sing-Off: Season 3, Episode 8

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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
Delilah sings for the laughter and sings for the tears. Although Delilah’s take on “Dream On” wasn’t as musically intricate or subtle as their reimaginings of “Grenade” or “How To Love,” in regards to pure stare power and verve, I don’t know that we’ve ever heard Delilah more true to its inner-self than on this monster rock song. Combine a star-making (or perhaps reinforcing…) solo with Delilah’s trademark precision on dynamics and rhythm and you have the single best performance any group has offered on the same night it was eliminated.

Gone
Swan song aside, Delilah is not a Survivor. Alas, for the first time, I’m spotlighting the same group in the Great and Gone categories. We’re down to such a nitty-gritty place in the competition that there’s virtually no room for error. While Urban Method redeemed itself in the judges’ eyes (if not my own), and The Aires continued to climb their way back up the ladder, both Delilah and Afro-Blue had serious missteps this week that, accordingly, landed them in the bottom two. In the end, it was not a shocker to see Delilah eliminated, but it was sad just the same. As only the third all-female group to participate in The Sing-Off, Delilah made it deeper than anyone who came before them, and offered a unique combination of musical precision and willingness to attack music that I hope all-female groups across the country took note of and can learn from. “Survivor” was, in many ways, a perfect farewell song for a band of women who fought against the odds for so much of this season, and who, unlike the fair-weather a cappella musicians of some other ensembles, probably will all continue with vocal bands for years to come, be it Delilah, or the original groups from which they were drafted.

Give it a second look
Pentatonix is sticky sweet on “Stuck Like Glue.” It’s sort of telling that the times I’ve liked Pentatonix best are those songs that highlight the lone female member as the lead vocalist. As I noted in our Facebook posts, by Sing-Off standards, I don’t think she's cut from the same cloth as the kind of wailing soloist Delilah or The Aires offer up who demand your attention, but to her credit, I think she’s the most charismatically likeable soloist on the whole show—someone who makes you want to pay attention on account of her down-to-earth style and the infectious tone of her voice. Pentatonix continues to prove itself, this time by stripping down to (relative) basics and focusing on execution for one of the group's quietest, most pleasant performances to date.

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