At the time this was written, Season 3 of “The Sing-Off” has eight groups left. In my previous post, I knocked off Delilah and The Yellow Jackets as the groups that will be eliminated on tonight’s episode. This leaves my pick of six going forwards after tonight.

In this post I will give my bottom three in a rough order and then in the last of these 3 posts list my top 3 and my current order. Of course any performance by any group can change things. But at this point I think trending can be a good indicator of expectations.

The bottom three of six that I have eliminate the remaining two college groups: Vocal Point and the Dartmouth Aires as well as The Collective. I will hazard at this point that I do like all 6 remaining groups. The bottom three is actually much harder for me than the top three.
The reason they are hard is that I am all over the place in the bottom three with one group that I’ll list last in this set.

First, then is Vocal Point. This is a great men’s sound. And I must admit some horrible prejudice going in knowing they were from Brigham Young. But first week and “Jump Jive n Wail” won me over. And this was without a strong Baritone in the middle. The sound was a touch tinny but this was okay. They had a great beat box and a good arrangement of voices. Then came “Never say Never.” Good funk, good sound. Then “The Way You Look Tonight” which took me completely off guard. I was not expecting Sinatra. At this point I thought that Vocal Point was headed for top notch contender. They were a force to be reckoned with. Finally they brought in “Footloose” as a guilty pleasure. And Vocal Point lost me. Footloose made me realise that every song they do is “Safe.” Safe isn’t bad; but safe is only going to sell albums to a small sector. Last year was won by Committed who did ‘safe’ but completely made it feel unsafe in places. Footloose and Sinatra were amazing but had no “sex.” Footloose also showed that glee club underpinnings that is always a danger to college groups. I was thrilled to hear their Baritone back in the group and it rounded out their sound but may have contributed to the sound taking a step backwards.

The other college group is the Dartmouth Aires. Of the college groups, the Aires have done the best job of keeping away from the “Wall of Sound” even when they play footsie with the glee club sounds. The Aires also have a lot of versatility in having multiple strong lead singers. Week one’s “Higher Ground” had some fun with an almost “Hair” like rendition. “Animal” got very far from the glee sound and sounded like something uniquely original to an album. In escaping glee it tripped close to Wall of Sound but had some amazing dynamic and arrangement to keep it safe. “Pinball Wizard” really wanted to succeed. It had some amazing bass. It also suffered from when great singers face off against rock vocals and while enunciation is great, you have to make sure that you don’t loose too much grit. The lead singer also didn’t quite hit all the notes you wanted. Judge Shawn Stockman identified this one as a bit “Flarpy” (flats and sharps). “Jessie’s Girl” showed that each vocalist is a hidden treasure for the group. The lead kept surprising me by going higher and higher.

As much as I like the Aires, both they and Vocal Point again suffer from the same problem that took North Shore out earlier. There isn’t a sound that steps them away from other groups doing the same thing that would make me think of getting albums especially from them.

That third group that’s been knocking me around is “The Collective” I group the Collective with the two college groups because I don’t think they’ll make the final 3 considering who they are up against and at the same time, I can’t tell if they’ll beat these two college groups or fall to them. Collective has a great sound. AS pointed out… well produced. But at the same time; this has been a blessing and a curse giving what is probably the most variety of quality of any of the remaining six. Their great has been great; their not so great has been very not so great. “Rolling In the Deep” was an amazing creation that just made me intrigued by their sound. Great beatbox and haunting vocals. The chording however seemed a bit ‘splayed.’ “Rocketeer“, never really took wings. It had a lot of potential to really rock, but it always felt about a step behind where it could be. The lead vocal also sounded scared of the song. “Hold On, I’m Comin’” was fun. Technically it was right where it was supposed to be. This is a plus for not having distracitons; this is a minus because nothing about it made me have a ‘Wow’ moment. Then came “I Will Survive.” I was really worried as it came in because I found the vocals too light. But in retrospect; they were amazing. The vocal blend is settling in. The two female voices work VERY well together. My concern is this came too late. They really need to do something beyond amazing to break the top 3 at this point.

Next post. This leaves in alphabetical order: Afro Blue, Pentatonix, and Urban Method. I have a definite order for these three… see how close or far I am.

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