We’re back for week two and eight more teams are ready to dazzle me.  They open with a group rendition of “Sing” by My Chemical Romance which is currently on my running playlist and thus these groups are currently winning in my mind.

Nick Lachey refuses to stay out of it and continues to define acappella for us and give nicknames to the judges (the high point was Sara B for Sara Bareilles).

After two commercial breaks and about five minutes of fluff, we kick off the battle:

 

Dartmouth Aires

  • How They Know Each Other:  Dartmouth all-male acapella group
  • Schtick:  They have traditions, but not traditional.  Hence the silly outfits.
  • Inspirational Story:  One of their mom’s had a stroke and his friends were there for him
  • Song:  “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder (you know, from Center Stage)
  • What the Judges Say:  They have amazing energy and the front man is rocking through the whole performance.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said:  “Oh my God, you’re socks are so funny.  Oh, and you can sing.”

 

Pentatonix

  • How They Know Each Other:  Three of them were friends in high school and they found their beat boxer on YouTube.
  • Schtick:  They order coffee by singing.  Yes, it’s as awkward as it sounds.
  • Inspirational Story:  Lacking.  This could do them in.
  • Song:  “ET” by Katy Perry
  • What the Judges Say:  They have a great low end which is hard to find in an acapella group.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said:  “I feel like an alien now.”  Actually Sara B said that, but I feel like it fits.

 

Messiah’s Men

  • How They Know Each Other:  Fellow refugees, of course.
  • Schtick:  Gospel/Afro-centric/Soul all-male black group
  • Inspirational Story:  Escaped from the civil crisis in Liberia and moved to Minnesota.
  • Song:  “People Get Ready” by Curtis Mayfield
  • What the Judges Say:  They have a great large sound and very much in unison, but need to keep the key center in the same place.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said:  “It must be a lot colder in Minnesota than in Liberia, does that ever make you want to move back?”

 

Sonos

  • How They Know Each Other:  They’ve been a group for three years and tour together, no other information was given.  I think they’re polygamists, but I have no real evidence.
  • Schtick:  None.  Seriously, these people better have some awesome voices.
  • Inspirational Story:  Their band has been struggling and if they don’t find success they might break up.  Oh, and they actually had to give up their electronic peddles for the competition.  I mean, it’s no African civil war refugee.
  • Song:  “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak
  • What the Judges Say:  There arrangement was “ambitious”, which is a nice way of saying, “I hated it.”  Oh, and it just came out that Sara knows one of the singers because she used to be in an acappella group with him.  That might actually save them.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said:  “That was so sexy.  I’m like super turned on right now.  I wish my girlfriend was hot like you guys!”

 

First Elimination:  They actually sent home the Liberian refugees.  They keep the homeless garage dwellers last week, but send home these guys.  With an amazing rendition of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, my brief love affair with these guys is over.  It’s an amazing what a friendship with one of the judges can buy you.

 

SURPRISE!  Last year’s winners “Committed” is back with an album coming out.  And I am sharply reminded that none of the groups this year have even come close to these guys.

 

The Collective

  • How They Know Each Other:  Put together by Jeremy from Street Corner Symphony (last year’s runner up), put a group of fellow solo artists together.
  • Schtick:  They love Nashville.
  • Inspirational Story:  Struggling to find their sound as solo artists singing together.
  • Song:  “Rollin’ In The Deep” by Adele
  • What the Judges Say:  The lead singer was “off the hook”, but the group as a whole is still struggling to find their sound.

 

Soul’d Out

  • How They Know Each Other:  High School group, described themselves as a “real life version of Glee”.
  • Schtick:  They may be young and the biggest group on the show, but they’re still going to prove themselves.
  • Inspirational Story:  Ten of them are graduating so this is their last chance to sing together.  Seriously, the inspirational stories are really lacking this year.
  • Song:  “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”  from Hair (I can not longer listen to this song without thinking about The 40 Year Old Virgin)
  • What the Judges Say:  Even though they’re in high school, they were still really impressive.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said: “Yay, small towns!  I’m from a small town myself and I love seeing big dreams from small towns.”  Again, this was Sara.  Come on, girl, you’re better than this.

 

North Shore

  • How They Know Each Other:  All had guest spots on The Sopranos.  Seriously, I don’t know.
  • Schtick:  Street Corner Doo-wop
  • Inspirational Story:  Came from the streets and are currently struggling with the economy.
  • Song:  “Runaround Sue” by Dion
  • What the Judges Say:  Not sure, because at this point in the episode, I noticed that Shawn Stockman has glitter in his hair.  But I’ll tell you myself, these guys are amazing and might be my favorites so far.  Thus, they will probably be eliminated.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said  What Sara Bareilles Did Say:  “I’m in love with you all.  I just loved it.  You feel like family.  It reminds of my dad and all the music I grew up with.”  Seriously, Tyra, I mean Nicole, I mean Sara, it is not about you.

 

Deltones

  • How They Know Each Other:  University of Delaware acapella group
  • Schtick:  Friends first, singers second.
  • Inspirational Story:  None of them had any friends before each other.
  • Song:  “Feels Like Home” by Randy Newman
  • What the Judges Say:  Though the fundamentals were a little off, it was really inspirational and shows a lot of potential.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said:  “What’s a deltone?”

 
Second Elimination:  The judges sent home those poor high-schoolers in the first elimination for the second year in a row.  Seriously, why even look at high school teams if you’re just going to send them home right away?