Half of the remaining eight groups performed number one hits last week, and tonight the remaining four groups perform iconic songs that span the decades. Judge Ben Folds mentors the groups this week. The bottom two will face one another in the ultimate sing-off and one group will be eliminated.
Group Performance: Generation Medley
Apparently, the theme of the evening is songs that span generations, and thus this medley is aiming to reflect that. I miss the one-song performance from last week as this one feels all over the place and too loud. It is always impressive, at least.
Home Free (“Ring of Fire”)
Ben advises them to tell the story and show their vulnerable side. The song starts off tender and slow, then picks up to a knee-slapping beat. The bass singer has the deepest voice — it sounds like molasses. I enjoy the tender part of the song a bit better, but overall it’s a great performance.
Ben calls them a tree and a wise refrigerator, and I’m lost by what he is trying to say but he is as ever delightful. Jewel calls it a capella/country/reggae, which is exactly what it sounds like.
VoicePlay (“Don’t Speak”)
Like No Doubt, this is an all-male band fronted by a sassy female vocalist. Ben advises them to keep true to the message of the song in their emotional performance. It starts a bit rocky in the pitch, but they get it back pretty quickly and the emotion builds well. Their ’90s-esque outfits are seriously awesome. Even though I love this song, I’m not as moved by the performance as I expected to be.
Shawn loves the arrangement. Jewel thinks the dynamics were great and served the emotion of the song.
Element (“You Keep Me Hangin’ On”)
Ben advises them that the soloists need to have more time to shine during the song so they stop getting in each other’s way dynamically. This was an issue with their last performance, so I think this is great advice. Like the other groups, the song starts off on shaky ground pitch-wise, and the whole performance never really picks up. I really wanted to like this, but they lack energy and I am not a fan of the soloists this time, either.
Ben notes the pitch issues and thinks they were too nice in their performance, which I agree with. Jewel reflects that their song was empowering and genuine. Shawn comments that the harmonies were muddy which contributed to the whole performance feeling stagnant. I’m guessing they will be in the bottom two.
Vocal Rush (“Holding Out for a Hero”)
Ben advises them to work on their technique since they lack experience being the youngest group in the competition, none of whom were born in the ’80s, and now I feel old. Unlike the other groups, they start out strong and stay strong pretty much throughout. They have a ton of energy, and the rap is unexpected but great.
Ben comments that it was strong, and though they almost lost their energy by the end, they still held it together well. Jewel notes that they get too excited and ahead of the tempo at times, which is what seemed to derail the end just a bit.
The Bottom 2
It is Element going up against Vocal Rush, which seems fair given the superior performances of the other two groups.
The Ultimate Sing-Off: “Survivor”
Element shows a lot of girl power and sassitude in their performance. Vocal Rush just kills it, in my opinion. Their warm sound and endless energy just take the performance, even if they have the same tempo issue again. Element’s sound is tinny, and while I like the attitude, it just doesn’t pack the same punch.
The judges save Vocal Rush, eliminating Element.
The Sing-Off will air again Wednesday night at 8pm on NBC with songs from favorite movies and a double elimination.
(Image courtesy of NBC)