by Spice Girls
Mainly it was very entertaining and pretty tight. Enough to keep them in for Shawn, Sara and me. Sara is probably the biggest fan of the three of us, but we all feel that they could pop a few good lead singers if we give them time. They're always solid, and their music school chops come in handy. They have a pretty big sound and lots of energy.
"Flashdance... What a Feeling" by Irene Cara
This is the second performance so far that hasn't lived up to their first two. That's why they ended up in the bottom two. But we couldn't do away with them because the first two performances of the season were out of sight, and we keep hearing from new front ladies. This time it's Candace, who seemed to have a little bit of jitters but still... wow, has such a great voice and delivery.
We're feeling the weight of not having bass singers. This is not discrimination; it's just the way it is. They have advantages because of their range, but having solid sonic foundation isn't one of them. They have to arrange around this, and they didn't. They can't keep arranging as if it's all there minus a bass singer and a baritone. They need to go where they did at the top of the season and play to their strengths and come up with arrangements that derive impact from dynamic, space and emotion.
"Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News
This was a hard decision to make. The problem is that when you know someone has shown you what they have and you know that they won't win based on that, there's no going back. You can keep them on for a show or two to get them some exposure and give TV land a treat, but they're on borrowed time. Their shot at making records, in our opinion, is reworking modern songs like "Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars, which they did brilliantly, but there is a sense of novelty in that. So outside of novelty, what can they do (besides just be great, which they are) to find a niche to deserve the record contract? When they took the Righteous Brothers song straight on, it showed that they can do a good approximation, but we didn't walk away feeling it. I'm not saying they didn't make it sound good. I'm just saying that connecting with a record buying audience is a very special thing, and we felt like we'd seen what they do at this point. They showed us one lead singer, Guy. Guy is a fine front man, no doubt, but some of the other groups have up to three stellar leads so far. North Shore are consistent, professional and there's a real good reason they were on prime time. I remind you! They are joining the ranks of the other 15 groups this season who will not be the winner. I'd like to have kept them on another show, but we are holding out for surprises from some of the other groups - and when those surprises don't come, the stack of "not winners" will grow. Guy and company, we loved hearing you sing on the show. Fans of North Shore, thanks for the passionate letters - now turn that into long-term passionate support for your heroes and make their records and tours a success!
"I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor
I thought they nailed this one. Shawn didn't dig not coming out of the gate swinging, and I respect that. Rachael and Ruby just soared together! The group held it down and blended for the first time. It was obvious they were working their micro dynamics, exaggerating swells and spaces. You're getting it now! Hold on to that. We don't want to see a group with such experience and depth on the bench fall down anytime soon. You're valuable on this show. Ruby! Sorry for my abysmal vibrato... you sound nothing like that haha!
"Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield
Like the YellowJackets, solid energy and fun. The kind you get from a group of excited talented university dudes. Where the YellowJackets may not have as much strength in their leads, Dartmouth has that covered. However, where the YellowJackets shine from top to (more importantly) bottom, Dartmouth is showing some weakness in their bass, baritone and groove. It gets sloshy down there, and they're getting their groove from the visual aspect and from their tenors (they may actually be tenor heavy). I'd say cleaning up their low end and driving the beat better is their big challenge.
"I Wanna Dance with Somebody"
Yes, they're great. I wasn't convinced this was as focused as they can be, and although I admire that they have a few other great singers, I'd like to see Afro-Blue stick to their strongest, most relatable singers. There's enough going on and they already have a challenge in bringing mainstream aboard with their jazz slant. I mentioned diction, not completely literally - yes, a few of the female leads were vowel heavy, but they don't seem to be connected to lyrics as a group. I want to see them deliver the essence of the songs, lyrically as well as musically. These kids are GREAT. I'm in awe and I LOVE AFRO-BLUE. They've gotta keep their sound, drive the point home without compromising themselves.
"Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles
They get better each time. Wow. This was really impressive, inventive, playful and entertaining. They create a scene for every verse and chorus with surprises around each corner. They're a damn machine. They also look like they're thriving under the extreme schedule while so many other groups are looking pretty tired.
Scott insisted on being himself. Good choice!
"Listen to Your Heart" by Roxette
The Deltones didn't go because they weren't good. They just had stiff competition. We're lucky we've got such talent that we can lose a group like this. I wanted to see them stick around a bit longer if possible because of what they represent and that they have a few good leads. But when you consider who they were up against... oh well. I do hope they enjoyed their time on the show - they were total class!
"Poison" by Bell Biv Devoe
NOW does everybody see it? I couldn't figure out why this group wasn't causing more of a stir in Internet world and on iTunes but I think this might have driven it home. It certainly inspired me to become a rapping jackass - ass a pella maybe? Me, not them haha. Mike was crazy good. The group was right in the pocket. The arrangement was stellar, and they danced their butts off as well. Troy was fantastic! A real asset in this band. The girls were funny. The bass and drums were brilliant. Right the hell on URBAN!!
"Footloose" by Kenny Loggins
Tight! That was just tight. It was squeaky clean in its tightness, and the leads added the dirt. They kept all of that stuff up while dancing like fools. There's not much more to say about this one. They came closer to answering the challenge of delivering a lead that would hold up on a record. More in this direction, boys!
When it's time to do a ballad or something earnest, hold on to what you have in this one and add the heart and lyrical sensitivity that I'm hoping is beneath the entertaining veneer! Absolutely pro, spot on, entertaining. I'm so lucky to get to hear this kind of stuff right up on the front row!