America's favorite a cappella singing competition is back in full vibrato for its fourth season! Platinum recording a cappella artist Ben Folds and Grammy-winning Boyz II Men singer Shawn Stockman continue as The Sing-Off's knowledgeable judges, while Nick Lachey is the show's entertaining host again. Four-time Grammy-nominated Jewel is this season's newest judge to balance out the male judges.
The show kicks off with all the groups performing a sensational mashup of fun. songs "We Are Young" and "Carry On." Each group sings a few musical bars to give the fans a quick taste of the talent to come. Stakes are high this season with 10 groups competing for a Sony record deal and a $100,000 cash prize. The show is divided into two major sections with five groups competing in each; the lowest performing group from each section will "sing off" in an epic battle for survival. Only one will continue on in pursuit of The Sing-Off title!
The season's youngest group, Vocal Rush, starts the show on a high note. Before The Sing-Off, the Oakland performing arts high school group won an international a cappella championship. Their rendition of "Bottom of the River" by Delta Rae incorporated stepping and drew praise from the judges for being a polished, top class performance.
Next up is Home Free, a traveling country male quintet from Minnesota. Singing Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" proved to be a popular choice with the judges and the crowd, as everyone loved the singers' range.
Founded over 50 years ago, The Princeton Footnotes is an all-male group from - you guessed it - Princeton University. Although the baritones and tenors turned in a superb version of Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble," Jewel wanted the lead vocalist to be looser in his execution.
The members of Calle Sol - the literal Spanish translation is "Sun Street" - are straight from Puerto Rico, where they left behind their friends and family to pursue their dream. Latin-flavored "Pon De Replay" by Rihanna was peppered with the girls' professional dance moves. The judges critiqued that there were definite highs and lows to the performance, but overall it was excellent entertainment.
Los Angeles-based doo-wop group Street Corner Renaissance is comprised of five older gentlemen paying tribute to their first love: music. Unlike other a cappella performances, they don't incorporate beat boxing into their song choice, "What Makes You Beautiful," by One Direction. Shawn is beside himself with excitement: "Now this is swag!" Ben and Jewel agree that Street Corner Renaissance is real honest singing.
The judges select the first group to perform in tonight's sing-off: The Princeton Footnotes. Who will join them in the bottom two?
Beginning the second round is newly formed Ten, a group comprised of background singers for some of the world's biggest music stars. Their mutual gospel foundation brought them together for tonight, their first performance as a group! "Tell Me Something Good," by Rufus and Chaka Khan, scored them major points with the judges, but Jewel cautioned them to work on their vocal cohesiveness.
The season's only all-female group, Element, is made up of smart, powerful NYC women drawn together by their shared love of music. Their performance of "Burn" by Ellie Goulding drew mixed reviews from the judges, with Jewel praising the singers' ability to do more with fewer octaves and Ben criticizing that they didn't leave room to build their sound.
The performers in VoicePlay began their careers singing at Florida theme parks and recently added female vocalist Honey to the previously male-only group. The judges questioned their arrangement for "Feel This Moment" by Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera, but Shawn loved their percussion sounds.
Six Filipino friends from Los Angeles started The Filharmonic because of their '90s boy band nostalgia. The boys sang directly to the flattered Jewel during "Treasure" by Bruno Mars. They were praised for grabbing the audience from the first note.
The University of Kentucky's acoUstiKats is used to serenading the ladies, but the boys are all about being a family. The group's hip-gyrating, fun-filled version of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" received a standing ovation from Shawn.
The last "performance" is the intense sing-off between the night's bottom two: The Princeton Footnotes and the judges' second selection, VoicePlay. Both vocal groups ramp up the antics and lay everything on the line in their prepared version of "Bye Bye Bye" by *NSYNC. Ultimately, the three judges felt like VoicePlay showed more consistency and promise. The Princeton Footnotes are eliminated from the competition.
Ten talented a capella groups compete to impress the judges by singing their signature songs in The Sing-Off's Season 4 premiere.