The Sing-Off recap: Ready For The Merge! | EW.com

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The Sing-Off recap: Ready For The Merge!

The six groups of the second bracket took the stage with more Top 40 hits and 1960s classics. Only five survived.

Sing Off

SUN AND SMILES Standing on a grassy stage, the six groups brought cheerful energy to their opening performance of the Plain White T's "Rhythm of Love"

(Lewis Jacobs/NBC)

The Sing-Off

Season 3, Ep. 4 | Aired Oct 10

The Sing-Off’s second bracket just doesn’t hold a candle to the first bracket, does it? Despite the presence of solid singing, I just find most of the groups in this bracket overwhelmingly blah. Suffice it to say, I’m very excited for the merger next week.

That being said, tonight’s recap will be a bit shorter than usual. Instead of going through every performance, let’s just rank the performers and go over the main highlights (and lowlights) from last night:

1. Pentatonix
The Texan fivesome continued to assert themselves as the freshest, most creative group in the second bracket. They drastically re-arranged both Ke$ha’s “Your Love Is My Drug” and Janis Joplin’s “Piece Of My Heart” and in both performances, they managed to sound like a much larger group than just five people. Their swingy Ke$ha turn proved just as successful than their reggae-lite Joplin offering (which featured a killer vocal-flugelhorn solo), and as Ben accurately articulated, they should keep taking risks—it keeps them very interesting.

2. North Shore
Last night, I became somewhat obsessed with the stoic mustachioed bass singer of this Bostonian doo-wop crew. During the critiques, he simply stared at the judges with a cocked head, unamused, which was funny because that sentiment was the exact opposite of the hammy positivity the group brought to the stage in their two charming performances. The biggest laugh of the night came when cue ball lead singer Guy sang, “No, I ain’t gonna comb my hair,” while rubbing his bald head during a boppy rendition of Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song.” He made everyone smile again when he nailed the high note in their strong by-the-numbers version of “Unchained Melody.”

3. Dartmouth Aires
I’m just not sure about these guys. They bring tons of energy to their choreography, and their pitch is on point, but their arrangements always sound so baritone-heavy to me—just a loud, constant wall of sound without dynamic shifts. I enjoyed their silly performance of Neon Trees’ “Animal” (electric blue pants and all!), even if the lead singer got drowned out by the background. “Pinball Wizard,” meanwhile, was a delightfully unexpected choice, but again, it sounded LOUD.

NEXT: How the other three groups fared…

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