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Written by on September 21, 2011

Singing is awesome. A cappella is lots of singing. That is why “The Sing-off” is awesome^2.

One major change to the best singing competition show is that the vapid, terrible-at-singing, clueless Nicole Scherzinger (can you guess whether or not I’ll watch her on X-Factor?) has been replaced by the far more talented Sara Bareilles as judge. That can only improve the show. From what I’ve heard, this will also be a longer running season, since NBC has moved it from a summer run to the fall. Hopefully that does not weigh the show down.

These entire show choreographed numbers at the beginning of each show always make me laugh. They are the right level of awkward + talent. In case you don’t know, most people that are good enough to be an a cappella singer do not do choreo well. But they’re all so earnest that it makes it enjoyable. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a bunch of great singers singing.

All right, getting down to business. Two brackets, 8 groups in each. Only 6 groups will make it out of this episode alive. Let’s do this.


Yellow Jackets: Man, those jackets are really terrible. They chose “Wavin’ Flag, ” which was one of my favorite songs from last year. They clearly have a connection to this song after singing it with some Kenyan kids. I think I like this group more than I like any of the singers in it. The only soloist that was plus-rated was the black guy.

Fannin Family: So.many.children. Family bands creep me out. Also: ELEVEN KIDS! Only eight of them are appearing here. Little what’s-her-name starts off timidly, but she picks it up quickly. Gotta get those nerves out. They mesh very well together, not surprising, but they have a good blend.

Afro-Blue: These fine folks are from Howard University, home of Antoine Bethea. I am predisposed to like them. Also: white people that go to HBCUs are always fun. They’ve got a terrific bass line. That guy is killing it. Man, they are making it look easy to get down while doing a cappella. It is not. I’m really liking this group. They’ve got lots of feeling.

Delilah: I am almost guaranteed not to like this group. I hate all-girl groups, hate when people combine members from groups of previous years, and hate the name Delilah. This lead singer sounds like she’s straining her voice to have feeling when quieter. Oo, but she can hit the high energy notes. Definitely getting turned around on this group. That was pretty good. I do worry about when they sing unison as opposed to soloist/backup. It was a little sketchy there near the end. But man, they have soloist power.

Holy crap, they’re already kicking a group off. But I just met these people, and, as opposed to previous seasons, none of them are terrible. If I have to choose, I’m gonna go with the Fannin Family getting booted. Or maybe Yellow Jackets. Just don’t take my Afro-Blue away.

And my intuition is right. I’m so awesome. Yellow Jackets and the Fannin Family were the bottom two and the Fannin’s get to go home. Man, that’s a really depressing version of “Tomorrow.” You aren’t dying, Fannins. And chick from Delilah, don’t cry, you don’t even know them.


Urban Method: Dude, don’t lose sleep over being the biggest rapper from Denver. That’s just not worth it. They really give the feeling of a hip-hop backtrack. Layered well, good sound effects. They’re very good at what they do. If this was a competition for best approximation of full instrumentation, I think they’d be the best. But for some reason, I’m not totally feeling it. I want to hear more voices. I don’t think you’re allowed to have two mohawks in one group, they should have a fight to the death.

Cat’s Pajamas: Backstory piece begins with a member telling me that they’re hip and cool. That will most certainly mean that is not true. This has to be my least favorite group to this point. Feels like they’re yelling. Too slick for me. They’ve done this way too often and it bores me. A song they’ve performed hundreds of times just won’t have the same emotion behind it. Way vanilla.

Kinfolk 9: Oh, a group of people that have tried and failed to make it in LA. That never happens. The lead and the asian chick do not sound good together. Their voices clash. Maybe it’s just me, but the lead felt really fake. The emotion he displayed felt very inauthentic. The music itself was not anything special, but not bad.

Vocal Point: Singing Mormons. I think I’m done with this genre. Weak tenor horn section. Does not sound good. Lead singer comes in well. Man, this tenor is staying falsetto the entire song. It’s really distracting. Not good enough. Besides that, I think the sound is decent. It’s an okay-enough groove for a bunch of white guys.

See, this is why I don’t like the episode format; the four groups I thought were the worst appeared in the second half of the episode. And instead of getting rid of two of bad ones, we only can cut one and are forced to get rid of a good group. I’m guessing Cat’s Pajamas will go home of this quartet.

And I show again that I’m an excellent prognosticator. I’m happy to see you go, Cat’s Pajamas.


Overall, I think it’s a good start to the season. I really like three groups that remain, just too bad it’s not four, like it probably should be. Can’t wait for next week.

Review: 85