The Sing-Off_ Season 4, Episode 6- Judges' Choice - EPEpisode 6 – “Judges’ Choice”

The groups still in the game – Home Free, Ten, Vocal Rush, and The Filharmonic.

Home Free – five men in their twenties, super-tight harmonies, clear tenor lead with the occasional toss to the uber-bass. Lots of performing experience at festivals. They consider themselves “country a cappella” but they are proving to be comfortable applying their style to songs that are not traditionally “country.”

Ten – Ten members (duh), mixed voices. Mature, rich sound, lots of experience as background singers so the harmonies are very full and developed. All of the leads shine. I will steal from Jewell here because she verbalized what I was thinking, which is “I’m not sure what kind of group you are. What kind of records do you want to cut?” This has been puzzling me as well.

Vocal Rush – Performing arts high school group. Twelve members, full of energy and heart, with some pretty mature abilities. The harmonies are a little light on the low/middle end which is really the only thing that highlights their youth.

The Filharmonic – Classic boy-band, adorable, energetic. They have a couple of solid leads that are holding things down pretty well. They have been on the chopping block a couple of times and I personally feel they don’t have a lot of variety; they stick right on the 90’s boy-band sound all the time and I’m getting a little tired of it.


Opening number:

I didn’t know the song but as usual, the opening number was completely enjoyable. I think the bass from Home Free must sing at a sub-sonic level.


The Filharmonic: “Baby I Need Your Lovin’”

Pretty much the same old thing. I didn’t hear enough soul. The lead was happy and sincere but I still didn’t feel quite enough desperation in “I neeeed your lovin’’” Nice choreography, fun to watch but the ooomph was missing. You can’t just throw it a pelvic thrust and equate it with the true aching need that you hear in the Four Tops version. I’m’a leave Jewell’s comments about climaxes alone.

Ten: “Proud Mary”

Wow, this is a song I have trouble imagining a cappella. But of the groups here they are the only one that could probably pull it off. Oh yeah, they did. Very solid, enjoyable performance. The “Tina Turner” lead got a little breathless occasionally, but she wasn’t locking a chord with anyone, and it seemed to fit with the frenetic pace of the song. The backup was really what made this arrangement.

Home Free: “Colder Weather”

I didn’t know this song at all so I could only judge this performance against other Home Free performances. It was clearly in their wheelhouse. Loved Rob’s solo, so beautiful and sincere. I actually liked his better than Austin’s solo. Austin shied away from the “country vowels” they were a little too rounded for this song. You have to do that in a choral arrangement if other singers are singing the same words at the same time, but I don’t think they were; he could have freestyled it just a touch more. And why does he always go “Bah-ah-ay-bee”, instead of “Bay-yay-yay-bee” like most self-respecting country vocalists? I enjoyed the performance and overall it showed off their strengths and reminded us where they came from.

Vocal Rush: “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”

I didn’t know this song either. Because I’m hopelessly out of touch. But, this meant, again, I didn’t have a prior performance in mind to compare their arrangement to. Classic Vocal Rush performance; energetic, lots of variety in the arrangement. Thought I heard the various leads go sharp here and there (dark and fire). But, they were so, so, in it and I was in there with them. I can see this group selling tickets, if not records, based on the popularity of Glee and Pitch Perfect. Maybe more so than Ten even though Ten is much better technically.

Safe: Home Free & Vocal Rush

USO: Ten & The Filharmonic

Ulitmate SingOff: “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” (BTW WTF???)

The Filharmonic pretty much did their same old thing and they did it well. But as usual there was no variety. In contrast, Ten seemed to have a different flavor to each verse. And their sound is so much bigger (not just because of more members but also because of more sound in the lower range) that Fil was clearly overwhelmed.

The thing is, a Filipino Boy Band might sell more tickets than a mature gospel/soul group. Based on vocal performance, my winner is Ten by a lot. If the judges are using commercial viability as a criterion, they might go with Filharmonic.

drum roll…Ten is safe!!!  I’m happy to see talent win over commercialism this teeny-weeny time.

Until the finale…







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