Recaps for The Sing-Off

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The Sing-Off Season Premiere Review: Off Beat

With Sara Bareilles in as a new judge, The Sing-Off kicked off a new season this week. Below, I go over various acts and hand out various grades, a practice we'll be undergoing each week on TV Fanatic for this show... Yellow Jackets - "Wavin' Flag" - The University of Rochester competitors were a mix of athletics to general geeks. They performed a song dedicated to their vocal exchange in Kenya, but there was something Caucasian about their execution. There was a vocal issue with the volume of the chorus where the voices would be drowned out by the background percussions. While Ben Folds appreciated the choir aspect to the chorus, they need to fix the lead singer's power to match. My Grade: B Fannin Family - "Who Says" - While the family was actually a group of eleven and were forced to sing "Come on Get Happy" by the Partridge family. The family's advantage was their connection. The opening was a layered introduction of their voices, but the connection came in during the bridge. The choreography was weak and it was odd hearing the tempo of the song so much slower which made me think that they were behind at points. My Grade: B+  Read More... //

'The Sing-Off' season premiere recap: Music To My Ears

The Sing-Off  premiered its third season last night, and despite all my worrying that the show would lose its charm in the transition from quaint December surprise to fall season anchor, everything felt just right. Nick Lachey brought the puns, Ben Folds showed off his stupendous musical vocabulary, and Shawn Stockman donned a bright purple sweater. All was well in the world. New judge and former a cappella performer Sara Bareilles fit right into the mix as well. Though she maybe focused a bit too much on the "story" and "journey" of some groups for my taste, she provided clear, helpful insight, and was refreshingly sincere compared to the consistently inauthentic-sounding Nicole Scherzinger. Bareilles was a bit nervous in her first episode (Who else loved when she told Cat's Pajamas they are a "super huge package," and then clammed up and tried to recover with a dignified queen wave?), but as she loosens up, I think she'll become a major asset on the show. Read More... //

'The Sing-Off': The Best and Worst Performances of Week 1

Greetings, fellow a cappelladdicts! Well, I should be honest: I don't have singing talent or experience, but I DO sing in the shower, a lot, too much probably, and I also have some NBC music show coverage under my belt after covering  The Voice  this spring. Now I'm back to talk wooden hosts (Nick Lachey vs. Carson Daly: Discuss!), kooky judges and, most importantly, kickass singing on a national stage. But before we talk singing, since this is the first episode, let's talk details. What is at stake on  The Sing-Off,  season 3, and how does it work?  Read More... //

'The Sing-Off' premiere: The first two groups are eliminated

"The Sing-Off" is back on NBC with 16 all new a capella groups ready to wow us with their vocal acrobatics. The eight groups performing during the two-hour premiere are: Yellowjackets, Urban Method, Cat's Pajamas, Kinfolk 9, Vocal Point, Fannin Family, Afro-Blue and Delilah.1. Yellowjackets, World Cup Anthem "Wavin' Flag" by K'naanThis was a heckuva way to kick off the show. How uplifting. Great soloists and the key change was masterful. Excellent job. Some of the choreography was a little cheesy, but the story behind their performance was great. Shawn's critique that it was "powerful" was right on.2. Fannin Family, "Who Says" by Selena GomezIt's the Von Trapps of the 21st century! I am immediately struck by how well their voices blend, it's incredible. Youngest sib 14-uear-old Maria is the usual soloist, which is cool. She's very talented, but you can tell the backups are no slouches either. Another great performance. Ben Folds also cites... //

'The Sing-Off' recap: 'Why does this have to be a competition?'

People are too hard on Nicole Scherzinger. Sure, she sometimes engages in ill-advised extended metaphors about music videos and candy shops. But other times she perfectly articulates the way I’m feeling, such as in her quote in the headline. Why  does  this have to be a competition? Of course I understand why a group needs to get eliminated each week — that’s how competition shows work — but when every group is delivering such impressive performances every single week, NBC could just air a season of  Sing-Off  concert specials and I’d still tune in. Seriously,  everyone  was on their game last night. The groups sounded wonderful, the judges continued to give refreshingly non-clichéd criticism, and Nick Lachey seemed like he was finally able to relax and just host. (He only asked the judges, "Anything to add?" ONCE!) Plus, the puns were more creative than ever! All in all, it was a complete pleasure to watch, and it makes me sad that there is just one episode left in the season. Good thing season 3 is looking very likely! To Read More  Click Here.

'The Sing-Off' Doubles Up With Rock Hits and Guilty Pleasures

When they give us two episodes of   The Sing-Off  in a week, it feels like a longer time between Wednesday and Monday, doesn't it? Tonight I am most interested to see if   Committed   can keep up with their level of performance and sound, as last Wednesday they emerged as early favorites. Tonight the groups are performing twice: a rock hit and a "guilty pleasure" song. But first the group number. The group fashion is all over the place tonight so it looks like it will be an interesting night. By the way, our contest for the Sing-Off Holiday CD is still going on! Just   leave a comment on last week's recap   and you will be entered to win one of two CDs! The contest runs until this Wednesday. The only thing that is not great and fun about this show is   Nick Lachey   as host, but he's not distractingly bad so we can overlook him easily.   To Read More  Click Here.

'The Sing-Off' recap: Embrace the cheese, please!

Sit down, boys and girls. It’s time for a lesson from a cappella legend Jerry Lawson, who offered up the wisest words on last night’s episode of The Sing-Off: "We had fun, and that’s what it’s about. We’re supposed to have fun."  THANK YOU, Jerry! There were times during last night’s episode when I wondered whether the contestants had all forgotten that THEY SING A CAPPELLA, the most inherently cheesy form of music known to mankind. Sure, it can be a powerful format, but I can’t really get behind Ben Folds’ request for the groups to prove their "artistry" while singing cover tunes on TV. Isn’t the downright goofiness of The Sing-Off part of its appeal? Some people may call it their secret shame, but I call it my very public love! Bring on the cheese! Unfortunately, things took a while to get going last night. Nick Lachey wasn’t immediately punning(!), and the weirdly Backbeats-focused opener, "21 Guns" by Green Day, didn’t pack the gleeful punch of other episode intros. Fortunately, by the end of the night, the energy had picked back up, thanks in large part to the irresistible fun of On The Rocks, and I was left smiling. This time around, each vocal group was asked to sing two songs: First a rock song, and then a "guilty pleasure" tune. At the end of the night, the judges would send one group home. We’ve got quite a few performances to count down, so without further ado, let’s get to the grading! To Read More Click Here.

'The Sing Off' recap: Sing on!

Have you been feeling a little flat about the lack of a cappella puns in your life ever since Monday’s season premiere of The Sing Off? Well, don’t sweater it — the competition was on again last night, and just as cheesy and wonderful as before! Seriously, The Sing Off really is hitting all the right notes. (Last one, I swear.) Not only is it showcasing some truly talented groups, but it’s briskly paced, well-produced, fairly judged, and highlights singing over drippy backstories. And above all else, IT’S FUN! Basically, I’m in love, and given the strong ratings for the show’s premiere, it looks like I’m not the only aca-holic tune-ing in. (You really thought I’d stop?) Enough rambling, though — let’s jump right in to last night’s episode! The eight remaining groups kicked off the night by performing Kings of Leon’s "Use Somebody," and naturally, they sounded incredible — especially the girl wearing a gray sweater and a blue skirt. Her voice had me transfixed. The assignment for the night was to put an "electrifying spin" on a hit song from the last five years (Idol, take note!), and just like last time, two groups would meet their end. Here’s how the performances went down: To Read More Click Here.

'The Sing Off' recap: Singing, swinging, and Lachey pun bringing!

Season 2 of  The Sing Off  is here, which means so is the constant supply of a cappella puns courtesy of host Nick Lachey. If we learned anything from last night, it’s that musical puns are key to  The Sing Off ‘s style. Along with cheesy facial expressions. And semi-coordinated sweater ensembles. And firmly defined group roles! But even amongst the ridiculousness,  The Sing Off ‘s heart is in the right place — it really does focus on the singing, which is why it’s actually a pretty enjoyable couple hours of television. The night started off on the right note with a hugely exciting group performance of "I’ve Got the Music in Me" that gave us a little taste of the 10 groups competing for the $100,000 prize and Sony recording contract. Pun-Master Lachey introduced our three returning judges: indie-popster turned a cappella-aficionado, Ben Folds, former Pussycat Dolls’ only  lead singer, Nicole Scherzinger, and suddenly un-frumpy "R&B icon," Shawn Stockman. The theme of the night was signature songs. Each group was asked to sing something that showed off both their musical ability and personal style, and by the end of the night, after two separate eliminations by the judges, only eight groups would remain. Let’s take a look at each performance: To Read More  Click Here.

'The Sing Off': Nota gets sledgehammered while the 'Bubs' are sweet Episode 3

On "The Sing-Off's" third night of competition, the five remaining groups went head to head on medleys by some of music's biggest artists. After a half-time elimination, the final four performed songs requested by the judges. The Beelzebubs were unstoppable. They finally figured out how to perform some entertaining moves without losing their sound quality. Usually perfect, Nota may finally have showed a clink in their armor. With only five a capella groups in the race now, every imperfection could mean that they're going home. The show kicked off with a group performance of "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra. It was bright and cheery. I now know what it feels like to watch "The Wizard of Oz" on acid. The choreography was a bit stale for my taste. You know those really stiff dances in beauty pageants? It was like that meets the oompa-loompas from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Round 1: Medleys Group 1: Nota (San Juan, Puerto Rico) on Jackson 5 When they said they were doing Jackson 5, I knew they were going to kill it. They did. Tonight, I actually think typically perfect David struggled on the falsetto. Ludwig, the lead singer on "I'll Be There," though, couldn't have been a better pairing. To Read More Click Here If You Missed This Episode Watch It Here Online Now