Tag Archive: pre-show

The Sing-Off_ Season 4, Episode 6- Judges' Choice - EPDown to the final 4.

In 2 hours on the east coast we’ll have our final 3 for Monday’s 2 hour gala. (I hope this year that NBC doesn’t decide to edit out what the charities actually do. To this day we support the Trevor Project and their support for bullied gay children.)

I’m not going to look at the songs for tonight. I’m just going to talk about the final four groups and try to hit odds on elimination.

Going in we have:

  • Home Free
  • Ten
  • Vocal Rush
  • The Filharmonic

Home Free – A Cappella-Country with a great cross over sound, a stunning lead vocalist, an unbelievable bass (No worries, still a fan of the Avi the Bass Canon), and of course who could forget, a beard! Home Free has a sound that isn’t just original, it’s tight and creative. I was worried in the early weeks that they were getting formulaic, but they managed to find a surprise in each episode. Good odds for survival tonight.

Ten – I was not a big fan of Ten going in. Gospel and R&B has to kick me so hard I’m grateful for it to really touch me. Ten’s initial foray was very scattered. You could tell it was 10 really good singers looking to come together. While it’s not obvious from the crunched in schedule; taping for this series was over weeks rather than days. Ten has obviously matured and coalesced into a group. They will only get better with each performance. Good odds for survival tonight.

Vocal Rush – I love these kids. Every episode they show more depth, more maturity, and more style. This group has so many different and eclectic weapons in their musical arsenal to call from. Vocal Rush’ ongoing danger has come from their biggest asset. They know no fear. The put it all honestly out there and that means if it’s fun, they are going to bring the party. And the care-free attitude is where the really hard hitting songs begin to break down. If they can conquer this, they’re in… If they let it get away from them, the other thing that will get away is the competition. Sadly… Lowest odds for survival tonight.

The Filharmonic – To think that I’d ever enjoy a 90’s boy band. These guys have a locked in sound. They have a style and swagger to match. Finally, they have an ear for arrangement and performance that really pulls people in. After the last episode they also have figured out how to rip their hearts to shreds to bring it to the next level. Whereas Vocal Rush comes unglued when they have fun, The Filharmonic becomes unglued when they don’t put the full emotion in. Filharmonic needs to keep focus, not make tuning errors, and be as openly honest and without fear as Vocal Rush. Low odds, but I think they have a better chance of overcoming/hiding their shortfalls better than Vocal Rush does.

Odds for tonight to survive:

  • Ten – 2:1
  • Home Free 2.5:1
  • The Filharmonic 12.5:1
  • Vocal Rush 14:1

35 minutes and counting. See you in a few more hours!

Why yes, this is FOUR Sing off posts in one day.

The Sing-Off_ Season 4, Episode 5- Movie NightIt’s an hour until showtime so I better type quickly.

I’m really looking forwards to tonight’s episode. I love theme songs. Yes, I am that level of Geek and I embrace it. We’re back to having all the groups together tonight. I feel badly for the short schedule because it feels very rushed. I also (in agreement with many others) find myself greatly missing the swan song. It’s just a really strong way to send off a group after they have competed.

The Ultimate Sing Off still annoys me. It’s bothersome because it creates false looking rivalries in one of the few reality shows that tries to be “Feel Good.” Following any of the groups that compete you learn that there is camaraderie, respect, and outright love between the groups. I wish they’d show more of that. I specifically remember a moment in Season 3 where they showed members of some of the groups spontaneously doing a bass and rhythm to one of the visiting professional artists. It was a really strong moment showing the real fun of A Cappella.

Tonight’s episode is “Movie Themes” – And it’s time for my pre-review evaluation. This is where I look at the singles on the iTunes album and guess (without listening) if this seems like a good or bad idea for the group performing it. Tonight’s two-hour episode will be interesting because it’s going to have a double elimination (which brings us down to the final 4) and then is supposed to have a full 6-group Ultimate Sing Off. (Which I guess just goes to show that you can never have too much of a thing that much of your audience hates.)

On to the songs:

The group intro will be “(I’ve Had the) Time of My Life.” From the film ‘Dirty Dancing.’ This is a great ‘poppy’ hit that has fantastic room for different style male, female, and choral vocals. This should be a nice blast to start the show.

Then onto the groups

Home Free – “Oh, Pretty Woman” – Roy Orbison. I sense in this one a potential for Home Free to fall back into the rut of “All Austin” with a quick show of the Bass to be impressive. Home Free has been good about being tight and keeping the fun up and is not for a lack of surprise. So as long as this isn’t “More of the Same” this should be a group solidly in the Top 4.

Vocal Rush – “Against All Odds” – This is smart. Vocal Rush has an incredible sound when they have the intensity up but their Achilles heel comes from when they ‘blast off’ into fun. We haven’t seen them do a full straight ballad. We’ve seen songs with slow and fast. If they can keep this one under control; this could be a top seed for them.

Acoustikats – “Old Time Rock and Roll” – Counter to Vocal Rush… This is dumb. Yes… Big movie hit. However, I’ve chatted about the fact that Acoustikats (the Gemini Group) wears the two faces of Frat Boys and Serious A Cappella Colllege group. Their problem is that when they go for the fun, they lose their edge and originality. This song is about as “Party” as you can get. The main vocals aren’t even sung. So, putting an actual vocal to it will distract from the original or not doing so will distract from being a competitive group. This seems like a lose-lose for the Kats.

Filharmonic – “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” – In case you don’t remember this is, ‘That Aerosmith Armageddon Song.’ The Filharmonic is coming out with a Ballad. And one that I think would lend well to the Boy Band sound they have. This is the coin flip. This could either work stunningly well or be an exploding failure that would be called Glorious by a cadre of Kingons. (Did I mention that my Geek runs deep and I do embrace it.

VoicePlay – “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” – I really like VoicePlay. I’ve made it clear. They have a Pentatonix vibe but different. Several people have actually gotten on the other side of the fence for this group because of this. This is a song that I think they will knock out of the park. It falls in their (to use a growingly annoying term) wheelhouse. But I think the pleasant surprise here is that we’ll see more of the other vocalists step up in this one and Honey may move to harmonies. This is a song like “Video Killed the Radio” that has such pure fandom and love behind it, that doing it right could seal them into the top two. Not doing it right could end the competition for them. I lean towards success.

Ten – “Skyfall” – This is basically a Torch song from Adele. I think Ten is going to suffer the most from the short season. With the longer run of Season 3, the groups definitely had time to grow and mature. The shorter season doesn’t allow for much growth of experimentation. I think this is something strong for Ten’s voices. But the cohesion that we want to see may not get a chance to shine with this one.


  • Home Free – Oh, Pretty Woman  2:1
  • Vocal Rush – Against All Odds 5:1
  • VoicePlay – Don’t You (Forget About Me) 10:1
  • The Filharmonic – I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing 12:1
  • Ten – Skyfall 15:1
  • Acoustikats – Old Time Rock and Roll 25:1

I have no idea how the Ultimate Sing Off plays into this tonight. Whether they just critique everyone and then put them all in the grinder (which personally I’d hate) or if it’s just for fun. I did see in the coming attraction someone singing (what I think was) “Fame” from the movie of the same name. For those under 25, the original with Irene Cara. I find this ironic because it was playing in the restaurant I had dinner at tonight. So, twice in one night would be a… um… treat? Potentially, this is the unannounced song for the Ultimate Sing-Off.

See you all back in the next post and on twitter. How did my guesses match with yours?

The Sing-Off_ Season 4, Episode 4 - My Generation - EPWell, kids… Episode 4 is just minutes away. So here comes the whirlwind pre-analysis of the song names and groups but without listening.

Tonight’s episode is “My Generation” – This theme could mean any number of things, but with the lineup being a Country, High School, Techno, and All-Female… This could go in a lot of directions.

The intro will be a medley of “My Generation, We Will Rock You, and It’s Time. Which should be greatly fun. But onto the groups and their songs:

Home Free – Ring of Fire. Once again, Home Free finds a country hit that has enough cross-over to keep them in the running. My fear is that so far we have begun to see a formula where the lead singer is awesome, the song is “Fun” and then they trot out Uber-bass for a few lines for the sex. I am beginning to want to see more from them.

VoicePlay – Don’t Speak. I really love this song. And I can not envision it as a cappella. This doesn’t mean anything of course. VoicePlay was the first group to get the Ultimate Sing Off wake-up call. So hopefully, they can keep up the energy and give a huge surprise.

Element – You Keep Me Hangin’ On. As opposed to the previous song; I can hear this one easily done a cappella. This also doesn’t mean anything. However, Element has not been bringing it anywhere near the power of Delilah (and one of their members was in that group)… They need to show or be in the bottom this week.

Vocal Rush – Holding Out For a Hero. This is a song that once again pre-dates the singers (which I find very amusing each week.) I think this one is a challenge and will really be the one that people measure Vocal Rush by. I like them a lot but I don’t know if they have the ability to push through the whole season.


  • Home Free – Ring of Fire  15:1
  • VoicePlay – Don’t Speak 10:1
  • Element – You Keep Me Hangin’ On 12:1
  • Vocal Rush – Holding Out for a Hero. 5:1

10 minutes to go… Let’s hear your picks and how you fare. Meet you back after the episode!

singofflogoI just had a quick look at the song choices by the group. Now I haven’t listened to their versions and don’t know how they will perform. This is simply a pre-evaluation based on my knowledge of the originals and my knowledge of the groups as seen so far.

Below are what I consider Good, Safe, and Risky, and Bad choices


  • Vocal Rush – “Gonna Make You Sweat”
  • Home Free – “Life is a Highway”
  • Element – “Raise Your Glass”
  • Filharmonic – “This is How We Do It”


  • SCR – “Do You Love Me”
  • Calle Sol – “Livin’ La Vida Loca”


  • Ten – “Hot in Here”


  • Voice Play – “Play That Funky Music”
  • acoUstiKats – “Hey Ya!”

More after the show! Enjoy the Singing!

PTXAnd lo, after much wailing and gnashing of vocal chords, The Sing Off returns tonight. It has been far too long in my less than humble opinion. Granted, I will always take A Capella over the overly forced Drama of the Voice.

Now, I would love to think that I could pick this year’s Pentatonix successor in week one; but I really can’t say for sure. Last year, Pentatonix just leapt out of the screen at mach speed with their first entry. E.T. showcased a very young Pentatonix for the 5 things that make them such a musical powerhouse.

  1. The Lennon-McCartney tight harmonies of the Texas Trio of Scott, Mitch and Kirstie
  2. The Ravenscroftian profundo of Avi Kaplan’s Bass mixed with his knowledge of Tuvan overtones.
  3. The Mad Skillz of Kevin (K.O.) Olusola with a very broad selection of beatbox elements
  4. The mature and infectious arrangements that even in week one could improve on someone else’s music
  5. A bond between 5 people in shared love of music to make a sound greater than the sum of the parts.

I wish however that I wasn’t an unbiased fan. Having now seen them live in concert (with VIP tickets) I absolutely adore them and look forward to at least 5-10 more albums. Their recent X-mas entry of “The Little Drummer Boy” deserves HIGH rotation during the holiday season.

So, what can we expect for this (rumoured truncated, blah) season? We know that we are now on female judge number 3 with the introduction of Jewel. I look forwards to seeing how she enters in the mix. Until we know the format, it’ll be hard to say how things will roll.

The series is rumoured to have a bottom – 2 battle of the song sing off. They tried it once in the last season. Depending on the groups and the song it could be a coin flip or readily obvious who is getting the gun.

More after the show. It’s almost time to sing!

UPDATE: Having seen a blog posting talking about the groups; here are some pre-show opinions.

  • Home Free: ++ Country A Capella. I’m not a fan of country; this group could change my attitude.
  • Princeton Footnotes: — Ivy League A Capella doing what I truly dislike. One foot in the “Glee Club” grave
  • Street Corner Renaissance: + I love Doo Wop. But if it can’t bend the format… It won’t survive
  • Voice Play: +++ Pentatonix redux. Similar style, but just different enough to be a big contender.
  • The Filharmonic: + Filipino boy band. Nice sound. Top 50% but don’t think they will make the long haul
  • Akoustikats: ++ I’m not typically a fan of College All-Male A Capella. It suffers from what I call “Wall of Sound” These guys may just challenge that and survive.
  • Vocal Rush, Calle Sol, Ten, Element: No finds online to judge.

15 minutes on the East coast!