The Sing-Off Season Premiere Review: Off Beat

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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...

The Sing-Off Contestants

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+

Afro-Blue - "Put Your Records On" - Howard University's soul was the emphasis for the band. I liked the group stage arrangement where the guys were miming instruments and the jazzier execution of the song. There was a confident-cool nature to the whole performance. Some of the vocal runs could have been stronger, but it was a strong opening. My Grade: A-

Delilah - "Grenade" - The mega-mixed past season group wanted to prove that all-female groups could work as strong as all the other groups. I didn't like the lead singer in the beginning of the song until they got to the chorus of the song when the other voices blended with hers. They had sass in both their choreography and walk. I liked the powerful ending and the lower voices helped the tone. My Grade: A

ELIMINATION TIME: Goodbye, Fannin Family.

Urban Method - "Love the way You Lie" - The a'capella group was merged together by one person and boasts a rapper as their differentiation point. I appreciated the change in tempo, but how much is having a rapper a difference? Instead of having a lead singer, it's a lead rapper and all the a'capella arrangements are the same. There was one background singer who was doing "ching-a-lings" in the background that was throwing off the tempo. I hated the two singing on top of each other near the end. My Grade: B

Cat's Pajamas - "Some kind of Wonderful" - The cruise performers turned Missouri acts perform for a whole ton of old people; they needed this show for exposure. For having four voices and a beat boxer, they managed to have a lot of levels to their voices. They had cheeky doo-wop group choreography. I could see this group having trouble as the themes are introduced each week. My Grade: B+

Kinfolk 9 - "Secrets" - The group was formed by a group of friends; struggling artists working together. The fact that all the singers seem like lead singers is a bit of a disadvantage for them; some of the singers wanted to out sing the leads. The groupĀ  had the weakest beat boxing of the night. My Grade: B+

Vocal Point - "Jump, Jive, N' Wail" - The Brigham Young University claimed to emphasize having Mormon qualities. They lost one member because of his father's leukemia and hoped that they could survive so that Ben could return. The group had some of the most enthusiastic choreography that covered a lot of ground. The voices worked well and the key changes and urban section was creative. My Grade: A

ELIMINATION TIME Farewell, Cat's Pajamas.

NEXT WEEK: More groups, but mostly ones from colleges and universities.

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