The Sing-Off is back and this year we have sixteen teams.  Tonight we meet the first eight teams in a rather weak opening number.  Still, the teams this year look awesome- we’ve got all-girl groups, inner city kids, Mormons, nerdy college boys and Von-Trapps.

Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman are still judging, but The Sing-Off suffered a terrible loss this year.  Nicole Sherzinger has most on to greener X-pastures and has been replaced by Sara Bareilles who actually writes songs (but not love songs as she’s made very clear).  In memory of our favorite Pussycat doll, we will have a segment called, “What Nicole Sherzinger would have said.”

Nick Lachey is back as host, and reminds us that acappella has no instruments for the bazillionth time.  Tonight we’re meeting the first eight of sixteen teams, but two will be eliminated tonight.

Let’s meet the teams:


The Yellow Jackets

  • How They Know Each Other:  College Acappella group from the University of Rochester
  • Schtick:  Nerdy Boy Group
  • Inspirational Story:  Once went to Kenya for a musical exchange
  • Song:  “Wavin’ Flag,” by K’Naan because they went to Kenya.  They actually waved flags.  Innovative.
  • What the Judges Say:  Super powerful performance.  The Kenya card works.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said:  “I think you guys did such an amazing thing by going all the way to South America to help those poor Kenyan children because they need food.  And you inspired them like you just inspired me.  I’m hungry.”

Fannin Family

  • How They Know Each Other:  Siblings
  • Schtick:  They compare themselves to the Partriges (not a real family), Von Trapps and the Osmonds
  • Inspirational Story:  They Have A 14 Year Old Soloist.
  • Song:  “Who Says” by Selena Gomez.  Clearly they let the 14 year old pick all the songs as well.
  • What the Judges Say:  Ben Folds described them as fine.  The soloist is amazing.  You can’t tell a 14 year old she’s pitchy in front of millions of people.

Afro-Blue

  • How They Know Each Other:  Jazz Choir from Howard University
  • Schtick:  The Black Group (there is one white girl, but they hide her in the back)
  • Inspirational Story:  They like Martin Luther King Jr.  Seriously, that’s it.
  • Song:  “Put Your Records On” by Corrine Bailey Rae
  • What The Judges Say:  Sarah thinks they’re all attractive.
  • Shawn Stockman Pearl of Wisdom:  “Your voice feels like warm butter on grits.”  Wow, Shawn, way to play to the room.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said:  “Success for your group is what Martin Luther King Jr. really had a dream about.”

Delilah

  • How They Know Each Other:  Most of them are contestants from past season’s groups
  • Schtick:  All Female Group
  • Inspirational Story:  After already been eliminated once, they’re getting a second chance all while conquering female drama, one day at a time.
  • Song:  “Grenade” by Bruno Mars
  • What The Judges Say:  Sara talked about girl power for awhile.  Ben used musical terms that Nick Lachey doesn’t understand.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said:  “All of you should audition for the Pussycat Dolls because I would be honored to dance and sing with each and every one of you.”  Then she would wink at the soloist.

First Elimination:  The Fannin Family made their exit to “Tomorrow” from Annie.  Not “So Long, Farewell.”  And because of that song choice, I am not sorry to see them go.


    Urban Method

  • How They Know Each Other:  From the hood of Denver, Colorado.
  • Schtick:  They do rap.
  • Inspirational Story:  They take themselves very seriously in their hoodness.
  • Song:  “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rihanna
  • What The Judges Say:  Shawn Stockman can beat box.  Sara Barielles cannot.  Seriously, Ben Folds is the only one who actually says anything.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said:  “That song reminds me of a song I wrote in Junior High, but my producers won’t let me rap so I’ve never performed it.”

Cat’s Pajamas

  • How They Know Each Other:  Former cruise ship singers now performing in Branson, MO
  • Schtick:  Similar to Jerry Lawson and The Talk of The Town but without an actual famous person and can still move.
  • Inspirational Story:  Starting to get recognized at the grocery store so they need to make the move to Hollywood.
  • Song:  “Some Kind Of Wonderful” by Grand Funk Railroad
  • What The Judges Say:  The 200 shows a year clearly shows.  Pitch perfect, but lacking artistry.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said:  “You guys really are the cat’s pajamas.”


Kinfolk 9

  • How They Know Each Other:  They all live in Los Angeles and enjoy eating dinner and singing at the same time.
  • Schtick:  Trying Acappella for the first time
  • Inspirational Story:  One of them lives with his wife and kids in a friend’s garage.
  • Song:  “Secrets” by One Republic
  • What The Judges Say:  The struggle is there, but their technique is not.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said:  “I can’t believe you guys live in a garage.  I mean, I feel bad leaving my Mercedes in there because it doesn’t really get along with my Lexus.

Vocal Point

  • How They Know Each Other:  BYU Acappella Group
  • Schtick:  The most fun that nine clean-cut Morman guys can have onstage.
  • Inspirational Story:  They aren’t allowed to bang chicks so they have to take them out as a group and sing to them instead.  Also, one of their members just had to leave because his father has Leukemia.
  • Song:  “Jump Jive and Wail” by the Brian Setzer Orchestra, complete with a lyric change because they can’t drink booze (“Papas in the ice box looking for a can of ale” became “Gingerale”).  Maybe chose a different song, Radio edit.
  • What The Judges Say:  Great energy (otherwise known as pent up sexual frustration) and they did a great job of staying together despite how much they were moving.
  • What Nicole Sherzinger Would Have Said:  “Don’t you wish your girlfriends were hot like me?”

Second Elimination:  Cat’s Pajamas, the group with the most experience, goes off to a brilliant rendition of “Bye Bye Love.”  Boo.

Who’s Going To Win:  Last year the standouts were clear, but this year I’m not so sure.  I’d have to pick Urban Method at this point, but hopefully something more inspiring will happen when we meet the other eight teams including your glasses.