Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sarah's Ramblings: The Sing Off - Episode Ten

It's time for an awesome penultimate episode filled with crazy awesome mixes, judges' choices, and down-to-the-wire drama as we decide who America will have to vote for this week! (AKA "Sarah finally knows nothing more than the general viewing public knows!")

Opening Number: "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve, "Last Friday Night" by Katy Party, "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani & "Baba O'Riley" by The Who
I love the master mix of these four songs… LOVE. And I remember loving when Scott came in with the bridge on Baba O'Riley that night. Such a sweet break in the wall of sound!

Pentatonix: “Forget You,” Cee-Lo Green vs. “Since U Been Gone,” Kelly Clarkson
Dear Kevin, do you want me to say it? THIS IS THE GROUP THAT NEEDS TO WIN! Seriously. How can they doubt their awesomeness? Especially with a beatbox like Kevin and a bass like Avi the beast! But I think what I loved most about this performance was that they gave it a story that played out not only in their lyrics, but in their choreography. The pairing of songs was actually perfect and the arrangement was out of this world amazing!

Urban Method: “Hot in Herre,” Nelly vs. “Fever,” Peggy Lee
Another fun pairing! I especially loved when they dropped down for "Fever" and the sax (Richard kinda rocks like that!) came in. Definitely a hot mix!

Afro-Blue: “I Believe I Can Fly,” R. Kelly vs. “Fly,” Nicki Minaj & Rihanna
They are gonna make me cry. I already can't listen to "I Believe I Can Fly" without weeping (for personal reasons) but the way that they mixed it with "Fly" melted me even more. Christie and Trent brought so much heart to what they were singing. And then Mariah worked in that rap without making it weird or taking away from their gorgeous jazzy sound. It was smooth blue! :)

Dartmouth Aires: “Born This Way,” Lady Gaga vs. “Sympathy for the Devil,” The Rolling Stones
This is such a dramatic performance, with the chaise and the fans. This is what these guys do best: they take great songs, turn them into awesome harmonies, and add a show component. Truly a treat for both the ears AND the eyes! Brendan and Michael = magic. I adore that one half of the group looks like the Warblers from Glee. :)
(Did anyone else wanna jump through the TV and give Ethan a hug? What a standup dude!)

The tension is building as we head to their final performances in their bid for a coveted final three spot!

Pentatonix: “Dog Days Are Over,” Florence + the Machine
You know that these judges' choice songs are pretty perfect for each group. I mean, that's kind of the point. But this one was PERFECT for these guys. The dissonance in the opening harmonies, the sick percussion and bass, Scott's hot lead, Mitch's pure voice on that break down… it all adds up to goosebumps.

Urban Method: “All of the Lights,” Kanye West
Myke had to sing… he's not just a rapper! :) Tony played trumpet. They did this "woo woo" thing with their mics (and it was hot). Katie blew us away. A great way to close their bid for the final three!

Afro-Blue: “A Change Is Gonna Come,” Sam Cooke
(Personally, I think EVERY song needs a jazz chord, but that's just me, Shawn.)
Christie has got to be my favorite female voice from this whole competition. There, I said it. I LOVE HER VOICE. I love her soul, I love her power, I love her scatting. And Afro-Blue has held a special place in my heart since the beginning. I love the arrangement of this song. I mean, they took us to church, baby! (I'll buy that too, Ben!)

Dartmouth Aires: “Shout,” The Isley Brothers
Gonna be honest, I never thought that THIS group would be the all-male collegiate group that made it the farthest. (Yes, I thought it would be Vocal Point in the final, not the Aires.) THAT. WAS. A-MAH-ZING. I mean, wow. Splits (seriously, he can do splits and bend backwards and wow). Falling down on stage. Hot soloist. Hot harmonies. POWER. Just, wow.
(P.S. - I am so stealing "flarp," Shawn. Flat/Sharp. So using that from now on.)

We have a SING OFF!!! And I am going to be both happy and unhappy no matter the outcome because I don't want to see either of these groups leave. (P.S. - was kinda surprised that Pentatonix wasn't named before Urban Method. I thought they were more of a clinch than UM.)
Afro-Blue sings "American Boy" again, which I think was the best choice for them. And smart of them to make sure Christie's scat was still there. This was the song that made me love them to begin with!
The Dartmouth Aires sing "Somebody To Love" from their Queen medley. The first note was a skoosh weak, but then Michael made his magic again, even baffling his own bass :)
At this point, I'm in tears, cause they both sang phenomenally and both deserve the spot. I know I'm not gonna like any decision being made. Though, if you held a gun to my head and made me choose one, the jazz soul within me would scream Afro-Blue. It was hard to watch them go (still is, really - I am crying as I type this), but they made it a bit easier with their jazzy smooth take on their swan song, "We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters. (I noted the night of the taping that Shawn looked pretty unhappy with the final result as well.)

Hey, we get treated to a live performance of the theme song!!!

I believe that Nick said the top ten groups will be part of the finale show… this means some of our old faves will be back. I know I am seriously looking forward to seeing Vocal Point, the Yellowjackets, and North Shore again (just to name a few)!

Don't forget that you can vote for your favorite to win by visiting www.nbc.com/sing-off/vote. Voting closes at 9am EST on Sunday, November 27th!

Join us next week for the Finale recap as we talk about all of the fun special performances. Who do you think is going to win this year? Will it be Pentatonix, Urban Method, or the Dartmouth Aires? Leave me a comment with your thoughts!


Kathryn said...

I believe Pentatonix will take the crown! I wish Afro Blue was still there, cause they are so talented. I am not an Urban Method fan, but they have gotten better through the competition. The Aires are so fun & Michael is terrific. Can't wait for the final episode.

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