Here comes episode three. The roster is split in two, and we're on to #1 hits night.
The group number of the night is Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." the Fliharmonic kicks things off, followed by Street Corner Renaissance, then The AcoUstiKats, then Ten--one rep stands front and center from each group while the rest of the masses remain in back and the judges sing along, un-miced from their table. Very nicely executed. One by one another representative of each group steps up to bring the song to its climax.
Shawn Stockman steps in to coach the groups this week. A Street Corner rep notes that he watched Boyz II Men grow from boys to men, and reminds us of that group's aca-days.
Here comes Ten with Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools." Love the set up here withe soloist front and center, the rhythm section set up in back, the rest of the group on either side back up singing and dancing. Solid groove. And then CHURCH! The group upped the tempo, ripped loose and went all gospel on everybody in the audience. Hot finish there!
Shawn offers up some truth: "Here's the thing that sucked about that performance--it wasn't long enough." He said that performance is Ten's signature. Jewel wants to go to that church, she praises the lead, then goes by section by section to laud every piece of the group. Ben loved the space they created at the top and that the group is starting to sound like a band, but cautioned the rhythm section from turning it into a polka.
The AcoUstiKats are back, and this time they're taking on "Amazed" by Lonestar. Shawn points out the fun fact that Boyz II Men had the option of taking on that song and passed on it.He suggests the guys pick a girl in the crowd and sing to her. Choral take on the opening--perhaps the best harmony we've yet heard from the boys.This songs seems so much more comfortable than anything else we've heard from this group so far. The blend is clicking. The guys are emoting.This is exaclty the sort of performance this group needed to reignite its chances in the competition.
Ben says he wondered how the group is going to separate itself from other college groups--and says they just did it. He liked the choral approach and loved Ross's vocal on the lead late in the song. Jewel says she was worried about their ability to hand the sincere vocals, but things this was a great pick for them, and they did very well with a difficult song. Shawn says the group went to its choral roots and it works, though he thought it was a little reticent at points. Then comes the moment when Michael from the group calls up his girlfriend Maggie from the crowd and proposes. And she says yes! Aww... very sweet moment there. And if there was any doubt as to this group's safety, they all but guaranteed it there.
Street corner Renaissance is here, singing Cee-Lo Green's "Forget You." Nicely executed little take on this song. Love the lead. Love the bass, but the performance overall is feeling a little static in this outing. Fun, but in a strong episode, that one may not cut it.
Ben says the song is timeless, as are the guys. He thought the crying was groovy and he liked the way the bass cut off his notes. Jewel says the song fits the group well, but they could tune up the harmony a little. Shawn says they did their thing and he's honored they took his syllable advice. He praises the falsetto. He would like to hear the group do different things, though.
The Filharmonic is up next, singing Maroon 5's "One More Night." Fun lead-in video with the guys settling into their boy band persona. Very nice groove on this one, and the lead is great... Filipino Adam Levine indeed! I love the way these guys spread the stage and work the audience. The only real criticism I give, which isn't entirely fair, but warrants saying in a competition is that they just weren't quite as good as Ten or arguably The AcoUstiKats this evening, which doesn't bode well for them staying out of the ultimate sing-off fray.
Shawn points out the groups tightness and success dancing while holding down the music. Ben thought the performance was tight but not as strong as previous showings. He lauds the group's personality. Jewel likes the group's charm, but says the performance felt a little light, lacking the dark edge of the song.
It's ultimate sing-off time. Street Corner Renaissance and The Filharmonic are going to war. The song of choice is Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss him Goodbye." This may be the most evenly matched sing-off to date. It's a shame one of these groups is gone. The Filmarnoic hold their own in the attitude department, but Street Corner is so professional and slick. Everyone sounds great. This showdown is a dead heat, but I've gotta give the nod to Filharmonic, if only because they have more legs moving forward in the season. Sure enough, Street Corner is headed home. All the dudes hug it out for the classy finish.
That's all for this one--see you Monday!