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The ACB Sing-Off Power Rankings, 2011: Round 5

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Welcome to the ACB Sing-Off Power Rankings! Before we get to the list, a quick review of what these rankings are all about:

•The Power Rankings are concerned with a group’s likelihood of a) surviving for another episode and b) winning The Sing-Off. While overall quality of a group will certainly have an impact on a group’s ranking, it is not necessarily the primary consideration of these rankings.
•The Power Rankings are, in a sense, cumulative. While the most recent performances will affect movement in the rankings, we still have to keep an eye on the bigger picture of how a group is doing (for example, if a group that was previously in last place gives the best performance this week, it doesn’t mean they’ll shoot to number one, but it is likely that they will move up).
•The Power Rankings will be based largely upon my personal opinion, but may also take into account judges’ on-air input, live audience reaction, and Internet buzz. Please note that I have not heard any spoilers, so the content of these rankings is purely conjecture.
•The Power Rankings will only consider active groups—that is, groups that have not yet been eliminated from the show.
•The Power Rankings will appear following each round of competition. A round will be defined as one full cycle of each active group performing.
•The number in parentheses after a group’s name indicates where the group ranked in the preceding round’s list.

1) Pentatonix (1) Pentatonix has received the most consistently positive reviews from the judges week in and week out, and did what many might have thought impossible this week with a tremendously innovative and musical take on the Britney Spears catalog.

2) Vocal Point (3) The war for second place is increasingly one of attrition as good groups get eliminated and great groups have their stamina tested with each passing week of the show. When your group’s weakest performance was still a tearjerker,and you bounce back the following week with something as musically intricate, accessible, entertaining, and fun as Vocal Point’s Elvis medley, you have plenty of reasons for optimism. The Brigham Young boys look poised to work their way into the show’s final voting.

3) Afro-Blue (2) While this was a good week for Afro-Blue, their ultra-jazzy and increasingly complicated sound isn’t winning over casual fans, and the judges called them on it this week. While I don’t think the kids from Howard are on the verge of elimination, as some doom and gloomers on the Internet would have you believe, it is fair to say they’ve slipped a notch in the competition.

4) The Dartmouth Aires (6) A single great performance does not a season make. The Aires turned in their strongest showing of the year so far with their Queen medley, but they have big questions left to answer about their capacity for innovation and sustainability in this competition.

5) Delilah (4) Even after a very good week, the competition is getting nitty gritty enough that I don't think Delilah will ever be truly safe again. The ladies were smart to play mashup weeks on their own terms, going with perfect execution on traditional song choices. That’s enough for them to stay alive for now, but within or two or three weeks things are going to get real dicey for this group, unless they can find a new way to wow us.

6) Urban Method (5) There was a point when Urban Method seemed like a favorite of the judges, but after a dismal showing from the women of the group and a second consecutive week in the bottom two, the Denver crew's shelf life looks like it’s running up. If they get back to their bread and butter rap pedigree and execute the heck out of it, they might be good for another week, but at this point I’d contend that the group’s chances rely more heavily on other groups slipping than on their own success. I think we’ve already seen the best Urban Mehtod has to offer.

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