Last night, The Sing-Off premiered with a new judge and lots of new (and familiar!) talent in tow.
The first eight groups sung their heads off and hearts out, showing that this season's a cappella-off will be the toughest yet.
In case you missed 'em or just want another listen to those smooth a capella sounds, here are my picks for the three best performances of the night:
Vocal Point: "Jump, Jive 'n' Wail"
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The BYU boys cut loose -- but not too
loose -- with an energetic swing number that had them singing about "ginger ale," and everyone else tapping their toes right along. It was hard to believe they were missing a member. Delilah: "Grenade"
The all-female Sing-Off
super group put on a super powerful first number, and lead Amy really sold the emotional element of the song. And the best performance of the evening goes to...Afro-Blue: "Put Your Records On"
The Howard University vocal ensemble showed up and showed UP
the competition with a gorgeous arrangement of this Corinne Bailey Rae track that was complex yet still accessible, as judge Ben Folds noted, and they did it with an ease that only comes with bucket-loads of talent and practice behind it. Shawn had a more straightforward way to sing his praises of the number: "Class. Style. Slick. Smooth. Effortless. Fun."
Those were my personal favorite performances, though the two-hour episode was certainly stacked with stiff competition. Urban Method put on a "rap appella" version of "Love the Way You Lie"
that sounded so polished that judge Shawn Stockman compared it to a finished track, and L.A. group Kinfolk 9 won the Earnestness Award with their emotional rendition of "Secrets."
Rounding out the groups who made it to the next round were the University of Rochester Yellow Jackets, who kicked off the night with the World Cup anthem "Wavin' Flag."
8-member sibling group The Fannin Family and 5-man oldies professionals Cat's Pajamas were eliminated at the end of the night, but their performances of "Who Says"
and "Some Kind of Wonderful"
were nothing to plug your ears about, either.Which Sing-Off groups are your early favorites? Next week, the other eight groups will perform (watch a preview here), and two more will be eliminated. Here's our rankings-recap of last night's numbers:
(Image courtesy of NBC)