In Idol News, er X-Factor news -- rumour has it the Judging panel has been chosen for Simon Cowell's import. Joining Cowell are Nicole Scherzinger (she's on the Sing Off right now), Cheryl Cole (trying to break into America, since Girls Aloud isn't going to come over here), and....Will Smith. Are we serious, X-Factor? It's a rumour, unsubstantiated, but we will see.
Now, the main event.
Premise: 10 a capella groups compete for a prize of 100,000. & a recording contract.
Hosts: Ben Folds, Nicole Scherzinger, Shawn Stockman (If you don't know what bands these people are from, shame on you. Or not).
Wait, so this is hosted by Nick Lachey? Or his brother Drew?
Eleventh Hour (Kettering [OH] HS)
Stret Corner Symphony (Nashville, TN)
Committed (Huntsville, AL)
The Backbeats (Los Angeles, CA)
On the Rocks (University of Oregon)
Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town (Oakland, CA)
Pitch Slapped (Berklee College of Music) (Lead singer is wearing shorts and tights. No.)
Groove for Though (Seattle, WA)
The Whiffenpoofs (Yale)
Men of Note (Cherry Hill, NJ) (Colin's town Representing) (No they are not guidos.)
And already this opening number group singalong is miles, MILES, MILES ahead of any group sing on IDOL ever. (Mental note: stop comparing this show to Idol. Or do.)
Oh, Nick Lachey is hosting. I was right, it was a Lachey brother. Is he the one that married Jessica? Why do I not even remember?
Each group gets to choose a song, their signature.
If you didn't meet in the detention hall, how can you be like the Breakfast Club? I thought that was the whole point.
Signature song: Baby (Justin Bieber)
I like this girl's facial expressions though. And a capella music can redeem the Biebs, I think. My experiences with a capella are usually all male groups, so I'm enjoying the women taking lead on the song.
I think I love the fact that Ben Folds actually talks about the music and the singing notes and such. I also like the fact that he picks out things that they did vocally that worked and pointed out things that didn't quite work. It's refreshing to see an actual CRITIQUE.
Okay, so Glee reference out of the way. It seems like Nicole is the Paula of this show. No critique from her.
On the Rocks
"the Singing Fraternity" who sang the Bad Romance clip that went round YouTube.
Signature Song: Bad Romance
Very Gaga-esque start. They've got a lot of the video down. I feel like the background singers are overwhelming the lead singers. Maybe not the third guy, I take that back, I barely hear him now.They sound good other than that, though.
I'm just waiting for Stockman to say "You worked it out."
And I thank Ben for clarifying the musical faults of the band -- I heard it a little off too.
Nicole is still trying too hard.
Groove for Thought
Signature Song: I Wish (Stevie Wonder)
Stevie is often the kiss of death for Idol contestants. Little bit more cheese than the last two contestants put up, and I'm not sure this will work in their favour. They're good, but it just kind of falls flat after the first two performances. (Who is Take Six?)
I hate their name. They're from Berklee College of Music. Who had an Idol contestant last year. Not the group, but the school (Ashley Rodriguez). I am already annoyed by these guys. They know they're good, but it's like they're snobbish about it. IDK.
Signature Song: Good Girls Go Bad (Cobra Starship)
Alright, props for the Cobra Starship. Also that girl's glasses are irritating me. I'm trying to like them but it's not working. They can sing, but ugh. DNW. And the faux-Timberlake stare of the lead singer dude? Fuggedaboudit.
Ahhh, an actual critique out of Nicole. Even though she made the Pussycat Dolls joke.
Oh, nice -- five go, they eliminate one, and then the next five and eliminate one. I kinda like that -- then you don't forget about a group through the middle of the show.
Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town
Jerry Lawson was in the Persuasions, and he came back to singing after hearing the group he joined. They were a Persuasions cover band ;)
Signature Song: Save the Last Dance (The Drifters)
Expertly covered by Michael Buble, but not in a capella form. This is a polished act. And as we all know, suits make the men. No gimmick outfits for these guys, just a neat, polished look. And the music is expertly handled. I think I have a new favourite. (Sorry Kettering.)
Shawn loves these guys. Actually, all of the judges agree. "You just can't buy class like that." - Nicole. So much truth.
My guess at elimination: Groove for Thought. There's no way that they're gonna eliminate Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town.
Elimination time! Yay the kids and the Old Fogies are safe! They get to sit in the Opera Boxes of Awesome. On the Rocks are safe, because they don't suck. Actually to be fair none of these groups suck. OH SNAP they sent the Berklee kids home. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.
Time for another five groups!
The Whiffenpoofs. These are the Yalies. Apparently they invented the thing. They suit up, and they mean it. Of course they all golf.
Signature song: Grace Kelly! (Mika)
Slow opening, but I am really enjoying this. These guys really know what they're doing. A New England school does it right. And the falsetto, damnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn son. They look ridiculous, but I love it. And that, friends, is a capella.
Lachey....really? A GWB joke? Was he a Whiffenpoof? (I just love typing Whiffenpoof) And I love that Ben says he can't unsee that. And Whiffenpoof Penguins is a going to be a great Band Name someday. And Shawn is actually hilarious.
Men of Note
Hey it's Colin's hometown. So they stalk the ladies at the mall. Classy. I like that they play lacrosse though.
Signature Song: For the Longest Time (I do love me some Billy Joel)
I feel like this song was always a capella. It's kind of a cheap out, but I do love this song. It sounds like a capella paint by numbers, but I do like it. What was the "brrrrring" about at the end?
Nicole thinks that there was something missing, and I am inclined to agree. Shawn says they were nervous and tight at the beginning, and warmed up toward the end. I like Ben. He's nice about his critiques, but still makes a point to tell them that they're going to have to work to make their arrangements complete their set of singers.
Street Corner Symphony
Are they really doing a Johnny Cash song a capella? That's crazy. I like that they "unpractice."
Signature Song: Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears)
Wow, someone actually almost sounds synthesyzer esque! And the lead guy is really channeling the original without making it a copy. I kinda wanted a bit more Southern countrified sound to it, but I can work with this. I like the slowed down effect at the end. OH he looks like Gary Levox. That's who he reminds me of visually.
"Play Freebird." - Ben Folds. (Well, he didn't say it but he implied it).
OH LACHEY, you just said my catchphrase. "We will see who will GO BIG, and who will GO HOME."
They took some from a group that performed on last season's competition. Let's see how they do.
Signature Song: If I Were a Boy (Beyonce)
I like that we have such a deep voiced female singer as a leader. She's got a powerhouse vocal in there too. She needs to work on enunciation though, she's difficult to understand at times.
It wasn't a competition before, Nicole? She's not wrong, the lead singer definitely "Shut it down." Shawn, you are also right. It is so impressive how she could go up and down several octaves without even trying. And this is a group that came together just last year!
Never really sang pop music before. And kinda dissed the UO guys ;)
Signature Song: This Love (Maroon 5)
There's a song I thought would make a great a capella song when I first heard it. A little excitable for the lead singer, but they're getting into it. With a beat like that, you can't sit still. The second singer nearly matches Levine's intensity in the original. I think I would have just let the beat drop at the end, I don't think it needed the little extra harmony at the end, but I liked it.
Sing Off is the best "shew" for displaying talent. Voices of butter. It's got Shawn broken. (What's a bell tone? I like that they use terminology that I DON'T know).
Elimination guess: (Easy.) Men of Note. It's not really fair to those guys, but their bracked was full of intensive and amazing competition.
Elimination time! Easy calls, for both Committed and The Backbeats. And we knew the Yalies schooled everyone, so they were in. It comes down to Jersey v. Tennessee. Gonna go with the Southerners taking the box. Yep. Streetcorner Symphony was more polished than Men of Note.
See, unlike Idol, the ones getting eliminated were actually really good. It's hard to say goodbye to these groups even though we didn't have a lot of time to get attached to them. Except the Berklee group. I hated them from their package. (That's what she said).