Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sarah's Ramblings: The Sing Off - Episode Seven

Welcome to Week Seven of The Sing-Off! Can you believe it has been seven weeks already? *sigh* Tonight, our seven remaining groups taken on superstar medleys… and I was there, so believe me when I say "AWESOMESAUCE"! Let's get it started…

First off, that opener: oh my heavens! I know I saw it a few times live. And it was fabulous. But I am loving getting to see it again… from the different camera angles and closeups. :) Loving this spooky medley of Danny Elfman's "This Is Halloween," Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London," and Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters"!

Tonight, not only are we talking through the episode, but we're playing "spot Sarah and Shaina in the audience" :) We are also going to get a special performance from last year's winners, Committed!

Urban Method: Rhianna Medley (What's My Name, Umbrella, & Only Girl)
I remember watching this and thinking "it's not bad… but it's not stunning." The girls looked like they were giving it everything, but it still sounded kind of weak in the lead singer department until "Only Girl," where Katie finally started to sound loud and proud. I think the transitions were interesting and kind of fun. That's always the struggle with a medley: making sure the transitions aren't cheesy. And they made it work there. But still not their best week.

(Through the odd magic of television, I've just seen my mom in the audience again… and, again, she wasn't at this taping.)

Vocal Point: Elvis Medley (Don't Be Cruel, Can't Help Falling In Love, & Jailhouse Rock)
Mike rocks out the fabulous opening of their medley with "Don't Be Cruel" (that whole opening was just hot) and then Jake gets up there and croons against the beautiful background behind him. And then, here comes McKay. Have I mentioned lately how much I love this boy? The energy he sends is always more than enough for everyone in the studio… it's infectious!

Afro-Blue: Janet Jackson Medley (What Have You Done For Me Lately, When I Think Of You, & Miss You Much)
This was hot to me from the start. Especially the transition to "When I Think Of You" with Christie doing her awesomesauce scat thing. And the hot jazz chords thrown in pretty much everywhere. And when they ended with "that's the end?", for a second, we wondered if it was… and kinda wished it wasn't.

Dartmouth Aires: Queen Medley (Killer Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, & Somebody To Love)
So, you've gotta understand that this night was the first time I saw these guys. (And Pentatonix.) What an introduction! Brendan rocked the "Killer Queen" with the funk it deserved leading into what was probably the best song this group could ever consider performing. It totally fits their theatrical style and could only be pulled off properly by a group of their size. And the transition into "Somebody To Love" with Michael on that single note was genius. Well played, Aires, well played.

Pentatonix: Britney Spears Medley (Oops… I Did It Again, Toxic, & Hold It Against Me)
I never thought I would enjoy Britney Spears so much. The little nod to BoyzIIMen there in the first part was awesome… and then they get "Toxic"! (The only Britney song that I like, for the record.) I love that they featured each of their soloists in this medley. I LOVE Kevin & Avi's HOT breakdown. Kevin is a rockstar and Avi is a BEAST! And then to end it by mashing up all three songs… *no words*

(P.S. - Had the pleasure of briefly meeting Avi on Friday night at a choral festival where we were both singing. Very down to earth dude, which I am sure is true of all them members of PTX. And it was kind of awesome to see him singing outside of the Sing Off context!)

Delilah: Alicia Keys Medley (Fallin', A Woman's Worth, & If I Ain't Got You)
Hannah's entrance on "Fallin'", keeping the verse low for the first half instead of singing up where the melody usually is… awesomeness. Kendall brought some extra soul while Jo… the fabulous Jo… kept up a sick bass beat. And then Amy, though she started a tad shaky on her solo, belted that baby out and gave me goosebumps!

Yellowjackets: Billy Joel Medley (The River of Dreams, She's Always A Woman, & Uptown Girl)
Yet another opportunity to hear Aaron is always a good thing. No, seriously, this group has got me in their back pocket. They open by proving to us that they definitely still have the African beat thing down (see week one and "Wavin' Flag"). Aaron sounds like Billy Joel. No joke. Oh my heavens. And then they hit "She's Always A Woman" with two fabulous singers before my favorite (I ain't hiding it) slips back in to his Billy Joel crooning. (Dear Ben - I respectively disagree. Dunno about everyone else, but I can pick Aaron's voice out of the group every time.)

Committed (yes, Committed): Chris Brown Medley (Forever, With You, & Yeah 3x)
Not gonna critique at all. (Except perhaps the choice of artist… I am very much not a Chris Brown fan.) Just sit back and enjoy the ear candy :)

I know I say it every week, but I don't envy the judges. It sucks. Also, I am pretty sure that this was one of those weeks when I verbally reacted to the judges' final decision. (We're talking something along the lines of "what?" And I was kinda loud.) I remember thinking as we left that night that it would be weird to not see the sea of yellow shirts in the audience anymore. And I know I am gonna miss their infectious joy for the music. And Aaron. *sniff* They leave us with one of my favorite "comeback" songs, "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba - with their own little VERY FUN twists to it.

Oh my goodness, next week brings us two more genres of fun (country & rock)… and another opportunity to hunt for Sarah and Shaina!


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