For this episode, I’m going to do the performances by where I ranked them for this episode.
So, this performance didn’t really give me very much to go off of. The group really took the notes about blending to heart but, as a result this really felt more like a choir singing the words to a song than a group doing a rendition of the song. The judges pleaded for some more individuality and they just barely made it out of the bottom two (which I thought they should’ve been in) so here’s hoping they can improve in the weeks to come.
8. Street Corner Renaissnce
You’ve gotta love the older dude’s dancing. There’s nothing wrong with this performance and if it wasn’t being sandwiched between all these other modern and poweful performances it would’ve probably carried a lot more impact. It’s just hard to feel the same when there’s no percussion and they choose a slower song. So this is one that you have to appreciate on a more intellectual level than on an emotional one. Fortunately for them, the judges have the ability to appreciate a performance like this. I just wish that they hadn’t had to perform something like this setting in the first place.
So, this was the exact opposite of Vocal Rush tempo wise. Where the previous group pushed the original tempo and it worked, this group pushed the tempo and it felt like it never found its groove. However, the group saved its performance with some big moments in the arrangement and their seemingly ever-abundant energy.
6. Calle Sol
This was probably the one performance where I had a completely different view from the judges. Granted the way that they chose to arrange the song was a little slower than pretty much anyone else. However, I think it did well to highlight the tempo change which allowed them to break into their dancing and more upbeat rhythms. I do agree that the group’s still trying to find a way to create a more complete sound. However, I don’t know that they’ll ever be able to do something that makes the judges happy given that they don’t really have the pieces to cover all the ranges the other groups can. Based on the reactions they seemed destined to go home during this show, even though I have them in the middle of the pack.
5. Vocal Rush
I noticed it during the performance and Ben Folds mentioned it as well. The group has such a full sound and it’s such a mature sound for their age. I was also impressed that they took such a driving tempo on an already upbeat song and actually managed not to fall off of it during the performance. The obvious star of this one was the female lead just hanging out on that “Everybody Dance now” line.
4. Home Free
“Dat bass doh!” But really, this performance was really well structured. They did little bits and pieces to keep things interesting starting with layering in the parts at the beginning and then highlighting their distinctive bass. The performance didn’t carry as much physical energy but that doesn’t really seem to be their strong suit. I think the most important thing that they could do was give a better performance of this song that Vocal Point did in the previous season, and they definitely did that.
Watching these boys really is like watching a 90’s boy band. This performance really did feel like something that you would’ve seen out of an earlier in Boyz II Men. They blend so well and feature each other so well dropping people in and out seamlessly without really ever losing any sound or quality. The only reason they’re not at the top of this list is that I felt like I couldn’t really groove to their tempo at the very beginning when they were getting some of the trickier lyric rhytms. But I loved pretty much everything they did after that.
I’m not sure how much I personally enjoyed this performance, but it’s hard to ignore just how good it is. The lead singer just has so much power in her vocals and, despite how many runs and improvs she does, it doesn’t sound over done. The group sounded more “normal” as an ensemble this time and really did a good job of integrating the original sound of the track with some new ideas.
At first I was thinking that they were just going to take the one note from the judges about a consistent line and let Honey carry the lead on the tune, and it was going fine. Then they started changing up the song and it was just one great thing after the other. First the rapping, then the stylistic changes and breakdown, then the 3 part harmony on the lead all coupled with some pretty good staging and theatrics. VoicePlay’s definitely trying not to be in the bottom 2 again with songs like that. I also noticed a lack of some of those “Pentatonix-esque” sound effects that were present in their first performance, which is a good thing.
The Ultimate Sing-Off
This one wasn’t quite as strong as the battle in the previous episode. Which may be an indication that the previous groups shouldn’t have actually been in the bottom two in the first place (I mean, I put VoicePlay as my best performance for the night). Neither group really seemed to have their best performance. The judges seemed to attribute it to both groups being emotional, I’m not sure if I know what to attribute it to. In the end, I do think the judges made the right choice out fo the two groups. I’d rather see the acoUstiKats energy than watch Calle Sol continue to get bashed for something that they were probably never going to be able to fix.
Taking in to account for this episode here’s my new rankings of the remaining groups:
- The Filharmonic
- Home Free
- Street Corner Renaissance
- Vocal Rush
So, quite a bit of movement over two episodes. I’m really expecting this to be a playoff between The Filharmonic/VoicePlay/Home Free after the first few episodes, but I’m not counting out 10 or the acoUstiKats just yet.