SET NEWS! SPOILER ALERT!
“The Sing-Off” NBC’s a cappella singing competition show returns for a third season with more groups than previous seasons. The show has doubled its contestant groups from eight to sixteen that includes it’s usual range in ages.
The show has stayed committed in featuring a good variety of contestants from all walks of life. They are appropriately judged by professional singers: Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five), Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men), and newcomer Sara Bareilles – replacing previous two seasons judge Nicole Scherzinger who is now on FOX’s “The X Factor USA”.
Hosted by Nick Lachey, this season includes a good mix of singers. Some stand-out groups to watch for this season are: Afro- Blue, The Collective, Dartmouth Aires, Delilah, North Shore, Pentatonix, Urban Method, and Vocal Point
The show is dividing the 16 groups into “two brackets”. One of the judges said “so much talent divided into two brackets”. Top prize is $200,000 and a Sony Music contract.
THE GROUPS- Ones to Watch:
Dartmouth Aires is made-up of 14 young men from Hanover, N.H. Dartmouth College; Afro-Blue from Washington, D.C. – Howard University; The Collective was created by Jeremy Lister from “Street Corner Symphony” in “The Sing-Off” season two. They’re from Nashville, Tenn.; Delilah from the University of Delaware; North Shore is a “doo-wop” group from Boston, Mass. composed of Senior-aged men with front man named Guy. They sing classic songs from the oldies era;
Pentatonix is a small group of five singers, one girl and four guys from Arlington, Texas with an impactful sound! They are said to be the show’s first “techno, dance group!”; Urban Method is from Denver, Colo. with an original sound of rock and hip-hop; Vocal Point a Brigham Young University all-male ensemble from Provo, Utah; SonoS (spelled with a backwards “s”) – consists of three girls and two guys.
Sample of the Performances:
Each group performs two arrangements per show. In one episode, groups had to comply to music from the 1960′s, and Top 40 Hits. Another episode had them singing songs from the 1980s.
In their element, “North Shore” performed “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers, then “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars with a doo-wop twist. Audiences also saw a group give a not so great performance of The Jackson 5′s “One More Chance”. Dartmouth Aires made a pinball out of one of their singers during their unforgettable performance of “Pinball Wizard” by The Who!
During the 80′s themed performances, “Pentatonix” killed-it in their performance of “Video Killed the Radio Star”. You have to see it to truly appreciate! They also performed a Keisha song.
During the 80′s themed episode, Afro-Blue sang “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. Because it’s a female song, the women in the group were given the lead in this song.
Viewers will also see an unforgettable rendition of Kenny Loggins “Footloose” movie title song that studio audiences got the pleasure of experiencing twice! Performances are almost always never done more than once during filming.
The Judges and Host:
During “North Shore”s The Lazy Song performance, Shawn Stockman was so impressed by one particular member’s pipes, that he said, “where most mortals breathe (during the song) you whistled”. Stockman got very emotional when a group’s “swan song” (they sing after getting voted off by judges) was one that was close to his heart by a group that had mentored his.
Ben Folds gives very long and thorough critiques. When TV watchers see it at home, it’s been edited-down quite a bit. Folds got to plug his new CD Lonely Avenue on the show which comes out September 28th this year.
Sara Bareilles is a breath-of-fresh air to the once all-serious panel of judges. She supplies wonderful comic relief- most of the time unintentional due to her just being herself and her youthfulness. During one group’s performance, they did a tribute to the signature “Soul Train” style dance when dancers strut down an isle. Bareilles said, “I liked the wedding dance you all did”. Stockman quickly corrected her.
A fun moment with the judges came when during the ’80s show they challenged one of the singers on stage to do the “running man” dance. As the show went to break, Bareilles and Stockman did the running man while Folds did his own thing until he later joined them.
Host, Nick Lachey is easy-going, and while standing in the audience during some of his opening sequences talks freely to surrounding audience members. Lachey got to wear a suit from NBC’s “The Playboy Club” during the 1960s themed show as a cross-promotion by the network. As stated in our first review of the show, Lachey is the perfect choice to host this show.
“The Sing Off” season three premieres on NBC September 19 at 8-10pm ET.