The Sing-Off_ Season 4, Episode 5- Movie NightGood gravy, this was a full episode. So, to recap; with six groups having done their main performance of the night we were moving into the TUSO! (Triple Ultimate Sing Off) The groups would be paired off for an Ultimate battle and then their individual performances would be factored into the decisions.

My rankings as a reminder to this point were:

  1. Ten
  2. Home Free
  3. Vocal Rush
  4. Filharmonic
  5. VoicePlay
  6. Acoustikats


Ultimate Sing Off 1: acoUstiKats vs. VoicePlay: “Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor.

If I do anything this season let me have one nay saying moment against my beloved Pentatonix. After the rush of the win PTX presented this as what was theoretically their Swan Song. It was probably one of their weakest things on the entire run of season 3. As a result; this is a song that makes me cringe when I hear ANY a cappella group do it.

In the intro video we see that the groups are counting on their assets:

  • VoicePlay: Experience and being clever
  • Kats: Sheer number and “Wall of Sound”

After two seasons of writing posts on A Cappella to hear a group self identify as a “Wall Of Sound” was mixed vindication. I’d had many people tell me not to use that term in describing college groups because it’s just a style. And here was a college group describing itself that way. It’s also something I don’t like to hear.

It was also made apparent that this is for show and that while a ‘competition’ the groups are going to try to work their best together. This is obviously from the producers. If you haven’t seen by now; finalists and the winners of the season will be touring in the spring with favourites from the season as well as new ‘ultimate sing offs.’ What this means is that they are really trying to push the combined group performances. The Ulteriour on the Ultimate begins to make more sense.

Working together works so much better for these groups. The performance is simply fun. And wonderfully the theatrics don’t upstage the really good music. There is an odd latino beat thrown in half way. It was enjoyable. I’m not entirely sure how they will judge that.

The judges:

Ben: That was really fun. You guys worked together so well. As much as a competition as it can be, it’s always together. There are no Divas. Everyone had a moment.

Shawn: A mixture of Loony Tunes and Monty Python. You’ll never see anything like this anywhere else on TV. So Cool. A lot of fun. Everyone sounded wonderful. Very cool.

Jewel: Really silly. Really enjoyable. Loved the leg lifts. Forgot to listen to the sound. And it was sound.


Ultimate Sing Off 2: Vocal Rush vs Ten – “Fame” – Irene Cara

When asked why this pairing; Jewel responds that she see the seeds of Ten in Vocal Rush and the youthful origins of Vocal Rush in Ten. She calls it a credit to a Past, Present, and Future Vibe. Again it’s made clear that the groups are working together on the performance but there’s mock trash talking. This latter I can do without.

The performance was unexpectedly stunning. This song fit Vocal Rush better because it has that honesty from naive exuberance. Something that Vocal Rush has innocent mastery over. Ten doesn’t exactly have a problem either, but their more mature voices lend an almost bittersweet maturity that dampens a little. Granted between the groups together it is amazing. I actually lose track on who is in which group and have to remind myself by outfits. Amazing energy all a round. That latin beat shows up again unexpectedly. Calle Sol must really be unhappy now. With one of my favorite tweets of the night coming from Season 2 2nd place finisher (which I felt was a bad choice, thinking they were better than winner Committed) “Street Corner Symphony” (@StreetCornerSym):

SPOILER ALERT: Most of tonight’s @thesingoff choreography ends with a fist pump.

The judges:

Jewel: You guys did not disappoint. Sarah: Love your diva. Nice mix in the group. Really a good job.

Ben: Rubbed off on each other. Ten seemed more youthful, The kids seemed tighter. Vocal Rush held their own next to Ten. Not a bad lead vocal in the bunch.

Shawn: Just watching and seeing it, reminded me of my HS days at HS For Perf Arts. Same energy. 75 blowers just singing. They could just do it. A great sense of vocal acrobatics and flips. So much fun to listen to. (VR-)Sydney: Where have you been? So interchangeable. Great job.


BeatOffUltimate Sing Off 3: Home Free vs The Filharmonic – “I’m Alright” – Kenny Loggins

Both groups want to show the best of both groups. They want to have fun swapping and combining their talents. I would not expect these two groups to mix well, but they did superbly. Watching Filharmonic line dance while Home Free rippled like mermaid was an experience. Both Austin and Joe have AMAZING voices and carry their groups well. Then the surprise. The Sing Off’s first BeatBoxBattle. As a fan of KRNFX, this has come a long way from when I was in High School (Appreciating VoicePlay’s song from earlier). Granted back then instead of  vocal percussion or beat boxing, I think my father called it Tourette Syndrome. This was the most powerful duet of the night.

The judges:

Shawn: How much fun was that?! Beard Did the gopher – So much fun and energy – but showed the distinction between the groups. Country and Boy Band… Heard both. Showing the personality.

Jewel: I have not stopped giggling like a school girl. Oh my heck. I’m going to focus… Laugh. Adorable to see the swap in personalities. Filharmonic. Sometimes I hear it come unglued… But it didn’t happen this time.

Ben: America’s first (really bad edit)… Beat-Box off.

As was confirmed by Tim Foust on Twitter, Ben actually did say, “Beat Off” unintentionally and the censors had to come in and have him refilm/reloop that because they could say “Beat Off” on the air.

My other annoyance is that it wouldn’t be America’s first Beat-Box competition any more than The Sing Off is America’s first A Cappella competition. In both cases, America’s first “TELEVISED” versions. Remember kids, American Ninja Warrior is actually around 30 years old… and Japanese.

At the end of the TUSO, I actually decide to hold my ground on my rankings:

  1. Ten
  2. Home Free
  3. Vocal Rush
  4. Filharmonic
  5. VoicePlay
  6. Acoustikats

This is killing me because I’m not ready for VoicePlay to go, I don’t want to lose The Filharmonic and I’m terrified that they’re going to boot Vocal Rush who’s a dark horse favourite.

First three safe:

  • Vocal Rush
  • Home free
  • Ten

They called my 3, 2, 1.

Nick gives the judges comments:

  • VoicePlay: 1st perf: So powerful, but arrangement didn’t peak. High marks for USO
  • Filharmonic: Deeply moved, rock star aura. Sometimes fall apart. Beatbox issues : USO standing ovation.
  • Acousticats: Props on the musical revue: wavered, needed more growl. USO: Stayed in tune

At this point I’m very much hoping not to lose The Filharmonic. But as if Honey hasn’t had enough musical therapy, each group waiting for their fate is asked the obscenely ridiculous question, “How are you feeling?”

  • Honey: Really thankful for the opportunity to be here. Really glad to have made connections
  • Filharmonics: Amazing groups to compete with and to learn from.
  • Acoustikats: Most amazing experience of our lives. VoicePlay… So much fun. Singing with Voice Play was the pinnacle of performance life. Made it so far… Still more in our tanks.

And then they turn to Mentor Jewel who after too long of a dramatic pause tells The Filharmonic that they are safe and we say good-bye to the Kats and to VoicePlay.


Next Up Thursday @ 8pm The final 4 in Judges Choice (Because I haven’t written enough today (Thursday) as it is.

There are two episodes left. and the quote from the episode that they will beat into the ground came from Jewel:

“I think I missed a climax there and it was sort of frustrating.”

Back in a few hours with the pre-show

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