The Sing-Off_ Season 4, Episode 5- Movie NightI would like to thank Andrei for the invitation to join him in blogging the Sing-off. He sets a very high bar so I hope I do not disappoint.

Episode 5 – Part 1

Opening number – Time Of My Life

I could have done an entire entry just on the pairings of the leads, but this is a two-hour episode and I think there will be a lot more to talk about. Altogether the performance was a great production; the arrangement really built up well to the dramatic climax. There may have been a tiny tear-up.

Home Free – Another good one! From Andrei’s pre-show write up I knew what their song choice was, and I thought Pretty Woman should work well for them. And boy, did it. I loved the mix of “toe tapping” and “tenderness” that they weaved in. Really tight harmonies which I have come to expect, appreciate, and frankly, that I think are missing from a lot of the other groups. This had just enough country flair to be true to their roots without making me say “oh, that’s a country-western version of Pretty Woman.” I did catch a glimpse of the Oak Ridge Boys a few times. Nice to see them “suited up.” (oh, wait, was that just another version of Shawn Stockman’s “you look lovely”? At least I saved it for the end of the critique.

Vocal Rush – I’m so glad they gave multiple leads the chance to shine, including their beat-boxer! Kyana was really lovely (her voice! I am not pulling a Shawn). They were all wonderful. I was surprised they could connect so well with this song emotionally since 1) it came out before they were born and hasn’t been remade, to my knowledge, by an artist they would be familiar with and 2) they are usually very exuberant and I was not sure they had the ability to restrain themselves without pulling back completely. But, I was wrong.

Acoustikats – Old Time Rock n Roll. I was expecting a return to the “frat boy kats” with this one, which is a shame because I enjoyed their more choral style “Amazed.” Actually, I felt like they toned down the frat boy just enough to still be entertaining but they did not make me cringe this time. The choreography was less chaotic than in past weeks. All three leads were their strongest performance yet. I wish they had actually had someone do the slide across the floor if they were going to strip to boxers-n-sox. They are entertaining to watch but I wouldn’t want to listen to an album.

The Filharmonic – Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing. I was a little nervous for them. It’s a BIG rock ballad and they have done neither of those styles so far.  They turned the arrangement into something more comfortable for them, and it worked, it was very “them.” I heard a little loss of control in the leads a couple of times, which is easy to do when you are selling the emotion of a song (armchair directors, like armchair quarterbacks, are allowed to criticize people who are, in fact, doing something than better than the armchair can do it themselves). It was fine but I’m getting a little tired of them; they are not really evolving.

Voice Play – They were coached about being more emotionally connected. I didn’t think that “Don’t you forget about me” really needed that, but I liked this performance the best of all their performances so far. Harmonies were much tighter. I liked the arrangement. I liked the “Breakfast Club” character costumes. I liked lead #2 getting to shine a bit. But, the breakdown (la, la, la) fell apart a little and Honey lost control of the pitch.  Such a shame, because I was really with them until that.

Ten – Skyfall – I had no preconception of this song other than “How is Ten going to make the most of their gospel roots (I say that because they seem to say that about themselves). Well, the breakdown certainly answered that; the finish of the song was great. The lead in the first verse was really good, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Stealing from Jewell, they have such a good “choral” sound and that speaks to me. They are getting better every episode. However, I’m not sure they have my heart.

I am writing this after the broadcast, but I have not read ahead. I’m going to call Acoustikats and Filharmonic to be going home based on pre-USO performances.

Next entry – the Ultimate Sing Off match-ups.

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