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October 21, 2014, 12:02:06 AM
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DAVID
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« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2011, 03:42:44 PM »


I'm still rooting for Afro Blue.  I'd love to hear any album of theirs, whether it'd be jazz standards or modern songs.  I dug American Girl because it made me like a Tom Petty song, which is a pretty huge feat.

The thing is, it's like Ben said, their version of American Girl was damn near the same as Petty's, except when they thought it would be cute to put the national anthem in.  It doesn't even kind of fit there, aside from the word American.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you liked that song, maybe you should listen to more Tom Petty.  Wildflowers is one of my all time favorite albums.

David - will they do an elimination on the 21st? I wonder. Cause if the 28th is the live finale? Last year the finale had four groups, didn't it?

TVGuide.com says that the episode on the 21st is titled "America Votes" and describes the top four groups as competing.

Not entirely helpful, so I went to the craptastic NBC website that not only takes forever to load but then has conflicts with settings where I try to click on a link to win tickets to the Live Finale.  Thinking of course that might mention WHEN said finale was to take place.  NOPE.  No such luck.

Maybe Allison should tweet Ben and ask him.

I'm confused, then.  Didn't they say, this week, that the finale is in 3 weeks?  And we've got 5 groups left...
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« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2011, 09:15:11 PM »

Hm. Maybe at the end of the second-to-last episode, the voting is open.... and then a week later the finale is more of a celebration thing of sorts, with a bunch of performances from the finalists and previous contestants, etc. with the total results revealed at the end.  That's my guess if the TVguide is to be believed.
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Allison
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« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2011, 02:07:24 AM »

Hm. Maybe at the end of the second-to-last episode, the voting is open.... and then a week later the finale is more of a celebration thing of sorts, with a bunch of performances from the finalists and previous contestants, etc. with the total results revealed at the end.  That's my guess if the TVguide is to be believed.

That's how it's been in years past. Each of the last three groups gets a judge to perform with, historically speaking. It'll be interesting to see how they pair that up. Last year Sara was the guest for The Backbeats as the fourth judge in a way. I should have seen that as foreshadowing. HAHA

And I thought, David, that Nick said that the finale is on the 28th. So we eliminate down from five to four on the 14th. And from four to three on the 21st and we as america vote until the 28th for the finale, the finale is the only show that is live.

I did enter to win tickets. AHAHA. I hope I'm off of work that day.... even if it's just to watch it on my TV. Cheesy

As for Alexis and Alex hating on Pentatonix.... I have no words. I got buckled in the bandwagon after Love Lockdown. That Avi and Kevin are phenomenal, I just don't understand not liking them. Then again I didn't like Voices of Lee two years ago and they went all the way to the finale if memory serves.


I cannot imagine who the top three are going to be at this point. I kept picking top four, but yes as someone said earlier and reminded me last year they faked us out and kept all four and didn't do an elimination one night. At this point I am ready for America to vote between all five remaining groups. I am way too attached to these groups.


ALSO. Any one see the preview for next week?! I am worried about the Aires given the way they cut the ad! Then again, I would not reaaaaaallly be surprised, despite being heartbroken, if they went home this week. Micheal and Brendon are who sell that group. They have issues keeping the pace. They have issues with their low end, etc... More issues than say oh, Vocal Point? Or, say, Pentatonix.

I also think Afro Blue, despite loving them as well, have to play carefully. As does Urban Method. We'll have to see how they do R&B week.

Is there only one performance this week? It seems weird with only five groups left to only have one performance a piece.... Unless this week also has judge's choice? Unless that's next-next week? I hope they didn't get rid of that category. Down on the Corner by SCS last year was per.fect.ion.
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mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!

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« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2011, 10:51:31 PM »

I will have to watch the finale on hulu I work second shift Sad.

Anyway I too love Pentatonix. I really liked their Video Killed the Radio Star. I agree with Allison, Love Lockdown sealed it for me. Admittedly I didn't like them at first but now they are my favorite this season. I really liked their Born to be Wild and Stuck like Glue. I can't  remember who said it but it showed they can strip down a song and be beautiful.

I like Vocal Point and I feel they have been spot on the entire season. They are the only one I've liked since the premiere. They are certainly entertaining. I feel similarly about the Aires. I feel both of the groups energy may be a downfall as it was to On the Rocks last year. But overall I think the Aires have better lead singers but I like Vocal Point as a whole better. I think part of it has to do with I think there are 15 or so Aires and 9 in Vocal Point. In other words its a little too much going on with the Aires.

I have never liked Urban Method and was actually disappointed at their success on the country and rock songs. I was anticipating their failure. I want them to go home but they will probably do well with an R&B song.

I really thought Afro-Blue should have went home this week their American Girl was atrocious and they continue to do what they are told to stay away from, they are so good but they just are stubborn. I liked Delilah's performances this week. I think Afro-Blue will go home this week if they do their trademark over composing. But again they may succeed with an R&B song.

I think its too close to call who will get cut this week my guess is one of the college groups or Afro-Blue. I really think Pentatonix has a real shot at the finals if not winning the whole thing.
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« Reply #49 on: November 14, 2011, 09:36:29 PM »

Ok so.  Sad to see Vocal Point go.  I really am.  They're technically superior to Urban Method and the Aires (the latter which, let's be honest, even though it was Afro-Blue in the bottom two as well, it was between the two all-male groups).  However they haven't displayed an emotional connection to the song often enough, which is indeed important.  They should've had Mckay sing that second song.  Ben has a great voice, but it didn't fit the song, so I don't know why they chose that song/chose him to sing it.  Shame.  The only thing that kinda bugs me is that the judges never really hinted at the lack of connection to the song all that much throughout the season I felt, in terms of getting them in trouble that is -- then they get booted for it.  It didn't feel like they had enough advance warning (Aside from 'you really got me now') but oh well.  You could tell by the looks on their faces after the 2nd song that those comments were coming out of left field to them.  It was all positive and then BAM, one "slip up" and they were gone.  I still think they got the raw end of the deal.  That first song of theirs was siiiick, and showed why they deserved to be in the final four IMO.  "Vegas" can have heart too if done right, and they did it right.  It's not like they were robots on the stage or something.  Anyways, first judging decision I disagree with (and I guess the last, since no one else is getting eliminated haha).

And I don't know what the haters are seeing, but if Pentatonix doesn't win it would be a travesty.  They've consistently been good to great (mostly great) the whole season, and are a step above the remaining groups in both arrangement and execution.  They know when to spruce it up and when to keep it simple.  'Merica (or the producers -- conspiracy!!) got it right the past seasons with Nota and Committed, so let's hope that continues.  Fingers crossed.

Urban Method's first song didn't really do it for me (again) but I enjoyed the second performance.  They're at their best when they're freaking out (reminded me of Dance to the Music, which was a good one).  When they're on they're great, but they're too inconsistent.

And I'm not sure what to think of Afro-Blue at this point.  They never really regained the momentum they had from earlier in the season.  I think all the mixed signals from the judges (or failure to communicate what they wanted, etc.) has kinda zapped their confidence, which in turn has taken away from their identity in the performance and arrangement.  And now at the end of this episode they all of a sudden say "bring more 'Afro-Blue' into the performance"?  Yikes.  A little late for that, right? With one episode and change left, I'd be kinda pissed if I were them.  Like I said before (this is to -you- Allison, hahah), I got what the judges were saying that one time in over-thinking the arrangement, but I think on the whole their message hasn't been clear enough and it has hurt more than it has helped.  I understand they have a hard job, but still.  I feel like maybe they were "over-thinking" the critiques a bit (irony! hah).

And what else to say about the Aires.  Although they might as well be renamed "Michael and the Aires: (from Dartmouth)!"  He alone has taken them to the top 4, which is quite the accomplishment.  Not that they're not good (they are), but his willingness to tap into the song is what has vaulted them past (who should now be a slightly confused) Vocal Point to the final four.  I never got the feeling they could win, and still don't (they're just not solid enough as a group) but they've been -just- good enough to squeak on through, and hopefully they give us some more good performances to show that they deserved it.  Suburbs Rock Hand
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« Reply #50 on: November 14, 2011, 09:39:36 PM »

I might as well make the most of this double post....

If Ben performs for the finale (and I think he will) what are the bets on the song with the group?  I'm going with

YDKM with Pentatonix (this makes the most sense to me)
or
Army with the Aires.  Would be sick to get the crowd involved with it.
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Allison
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« Reply #51 on: November 16, 2011, 12:04:49 PM »

I agree with you on everything.


I was also surprised to see Vocal Point go. When I sat down to watch the show (this afternoon. just finished) I was expecting to be devastated losing Micheal and the Aires (from Dartmouth!). It was what I was expecting, previous to watching.

Having watched it....

I agree. Urban Method's first song? Meh. Especially to be named top 2. Anyway.... second song was better.

Pentatonix. There IS nothing to be said. I completely expect them to win.

Aires, Micheal is what saves them. I am glad they have learned to always feature him (at least it seemed so this week.) They said in earlier episodes that they always have try-outs for the lead.... This isn't a college performance anymore, guys. PICK your Man. I'm so glad he is thinking about music as a career, cause godd*mn it. He is a young Ben Vereen. Which. SHIT.   I cannot express anything more.

Afro-Blue, I was surprised by their performances this week. While watching I was expecting them to leave. Sad to say cause they do bring something different to the table (which is what ultimately probably saved them) but their second song had nothing to it outside of Danielle. Christie's lead on the first song left more to be desired as well. GRANTED it's a Whitney Houston song... and well. It's a hard song/big range.... honestly surprised that the leads weren't opposite.

Vocal Point. Their first number was phenomenal. AND YES. McKay SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD have sang the lead. Ben's got a great voice. BUT McKay's got that versatile sound. That grit that the judges (and I) were looking forward. That was a silly mistake. Honestly they probably would have been in the top 4 if they'd made that simple switch. It seems silly to say, but the only time they ever ran into trouble earlier in the season was Ben's lead on I'll Be Missing You. It's not time to try out a new lead. Especially with how solid that group is THE WAY IT WAS.






Then on potential winners. I expect Pentatonix to win. However, provided Micheal and the Aires complete this week I think they're a bigger force to be reckoned with. They've got the only competition to Pentatonix. THAT and they've got way more families to call up. Hahaha. They have never been in the bottom two.... Also I think it could have helped them to BE in the bottom two. Honestly if I was a judge last night I would have cried. I don't know what they could have done. And at this point when it comes to the record deal.... the four groups with the most potential to SELL records are left. It seems crazy, but Vocal Point probably had the least distinct features. They're great musically. Don't get me wrong at all.... and I was surprised that it was Afro-Blue's name read off as the safe group..

But                                  I get why the judges did what they did. Even if it sucks.











ALSO. THIS THIS THIS:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu_juMyd87c&feature=related


SPEAKING Of Aires and Folds.
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mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!

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« Reply #52 on: November 18, 2011, 11:23:16 AM »

Oh man.  I had no idea that video existed.  OK I retract my previous statement -- THAT makes the most sense now, haha.  Pretty good arrangment too, love what they did with the solo section. Though I imagine if they do end up doing that song they'll re-arrange it a bit, mostly 'cause that one is from 2008, and I'm sure they have almost all new members by now.

And one last rumination on all things Vocal Point.  I feel bad for Ben.  The two songs he sang lead on were the most criticized, but neither were his fault.  He just shouldn't have sang on Ain't Too Proud, and IMO he had a great lead on I'll Be Missing You, and most of the issues were with background harmonies if I recall correctly.  And the criticism for that one bugged me, as the judges mentioned the tuning issues as a result of *gasp* emotionally tapping into the song.  THEN  their next performance was a fun, slick a cappella clinic, and Ben (Folds this time!) said "You're back,"  Which to me, reallllly sent a mixed message when you consider why they were eliminated.  It seemed that other groups got more a free pass for problems from tapping into the song than VP when they did theirs.

And I have to bring this up too, haha.  Shawn Stockman posted this on his accesshollywood blog.  And I don't like it.

***"Case in "point", Vocal Point is an amazing group of guys from Provo, Utah that nailed predominantly EVERY performance! They were creative, fun to watch and the girls loved them. My only issue -- if you even want to call it that -- is their "front man" spot.
You really didn't have a stand out one or two guys who would have been the "face" of the group. Their cohesiveness was their gift and their curse, because to me there wasn't a person that distinctive from the unit! With all that being said, I still feel they have a shot at being amazing recording artists and performers. But if you compare them to the other groups in the competition, I think you will understand what it is I mean"***

First off, I don't even think that's true.  McKay and Jake are both fantastic leads with great (and distinct!) voices, and nailed everything they did.  Secondly, it shows more confusing ambiguity from the judges, as it seemed half the time they wanted groups to show "depth on the benches" and now apparently they boot a group for having too much depth,  despite the fact they have stand-out leads?  Do not like.  For what it's worth, they are my second most-downloaded group, and their stage energy absolutely translates to the audio experience.

And on the subject of comparing them to other groups on the show for reference, as Shawn says, who are Urban Method's stand-out leads?  Myke is their "frontman" and he's not even a singer.  And I know you feel despite everything that Urban are among the top 4 in terms of selling records, but I have to disagree, only if not for the facts that the internet produces, haha:  They have the least amount of followers on twitter among the top groups and groups that have been eliminated before them and least amount of youtube views.  And more importantly, their songs are among the least downloaded on itunes, again even compared to groups already eliminated.  That just doesn't scream "popularity" to me, though I guess if they were marketed correctly it could work.
--
But seriously, how is Urban Method still on?  Again, hip-hop week showed other groups can do what they do just as well, but they (Urban) have never shown the opposite, which is pretty damn important for this type of show.  I feel like they are getting a free pass as far as harmonies and singing arrangements go (coincidence that maybe their two best songs both feature next to no chord progressions in their original melodies?  I think not).  I was shocked Ben was the only one to even mention harmony issues in their first song this past week.  Why is this?  I thought the pitch issues were very evident and that was while watching the TV broadcast after the mix has been spruced up a bit.  They looked uncomfortable just to be, well... singing.  I'm starting to go crazy and am maybe wondering that the fact that their founder (I forget which one he is. Tony?) is close friends with a main producer of the show and they sang in an a cappella group together way back is why they're still around (though I don't realllly think that).  But I'm at a loss, and now have this (irrational?) fear of them winning it all.  

Oh and it kinda seemed in my last post I wanted VP over MatA (fD!), but really, UM, is who I thought should've been gone.  Or even A-B, who are coasting off previous performances, and pedigree rather than execution.  I really hope they have a good showing next week.  It's long overdue.

And sorry for another long-ass, long-winded post, haha.
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Allison
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« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2011, 12:52:27 PM »

Someone on FB made a comment that I think rings true. This season is Pentatonix's to lose. Show ended last week, they would have won. Show ended the week before that, they would have won. I'd say since Video Killed the Radio Star they've been the forerunners. Similar to Committed last year and Apologize. They are the ones that need to watch their backs - cause they've got the target.

And I agree about Urban Method. They show that they do their style really well. And Katie did do a decent job on country night.  But much of everything else they have struggled with. Or just turned it into a hip hop song.

However I think you're over-reading Shawn's post. Or at least I think I know what he means. Look at the other groups vs Vocal Point at this moment. Everyone has one, or two MAIN people. VP keeps trying to spread it along. I mean really we've given the Aires a nickname cause of Micheal. Sure Brendon (Branden? I don't remember) sings leads from time to time, and other people have beginnings of songs and ends of songs and middle parts and whatever, but if you were not watching it and you hear it you KNOW it's the Aires. VP is the one that the only time I really ever got that they were VP (and not just a gifted men's a cappella group) is when McKay was singing. It was great to hear Jake and Tanner and Ben and whoever ELSE they threw up there, but they didn't have McKay sing a song in how long?? Really on your two song nights at this point in the record selling game you gotta start having your distinguishable IMAGE.

Because don't get me wrong Vocal Point is brilliantly talented. And that's what has carried them to this point. They are so good at what they do, but we all know in the business it's about talent and image. And the judges are there to help us get to the three most marketable groups. Unfortunately I do think it's going to come down to Urban Method, Afro Blue and Pentatonix tonight. Despite the fact that I love love love the Aires and Micheal. Or Micheal and the Aires (from Dartmouth!). That being said the last four are the most marketable. It really matters who f*cks up the most tonight.

I watched the behind the scenes video on nbc, and it sounds like everyone's gunning for Pentatonix and the Aires, so perhaps I'm wrong a bit. I hope so. Afro Blue and I have fallen a bit out of love since American Girl, and I've never been a huge Urban Method fan....
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mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!

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« Reply #54 on: November 24, 2011, 12:00:16 PM »

I'm really confused by the love for Vocal Point.  They're possibly the most boring, bland group I've seen on the show.  Unless I'm misremembering Vocal Point being the Mormons.
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« Reply #55 on: November 24, 2011, 03:52:11 PM »

I really liked vocal point.
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« Reply #56 on: November 28, 2011, 07:48:35 AM »

 

Yeah.  Don't get me wrong, I understand why they eliminated VP, but that doesn't mean that I agree with it on a personal level, haha.  But enough about that...

Color me surprised (whatever color that is anyway) they went with a Final 3.  I figured with more groups this season and the overall quality being better they woulda just made the 4-thing official. Oh well.  Speaking of those finalists...

The Aires' mastermix is exactly why I'm surprised they're in the finals.  There was really nothing bad about it, but there really wasn't anything good about it either, and that's the feeling I get from the majority of their arrangements.  Of course they owned the judges choice song (what a generous choice from them haha), even though I think Michael may have actually played it up a bit too much at some points.  That being said, I'm looking forward to Army (presumably).

Urban Method I thought actually did a good job with their mastermix.  It was one of their best arrangements of the season IMO.  But their judges choice song?  Completely underwhelming.  To me they're actually kinda boring when they're doing a hip-hop song -- it's much more interesting when they add that spin to, say, a White Snake song.  I know Ben thinks Myke is a star, but if I close my eyes I can't distinguish him from any of the numerous rappers out there.  And I know Katie has a good voice, but her rap-singing or whatever it was on that song was kind of annoying.  I can't believe Ben said that was his favorite performance of theirs for the whole season.

And by all accounts Pentatnox is far and away the most popular group on internet land, so if they don't win, the fix is in haha.

OH and I'm glad though that Sara mentioned the judges jerking Afro Blue around, and that Ben mentioned it in his blog: **"In short, I think the judges unwittingly asked them to dumb things down, and as a result, Afro-Blue became unfocused in the middle of the season and didn't always scan on TV quite as well as some of the others. But we knew what they were capable of and tried our best to navigate the integrity of the show, the entertainment value and our personal artistic tastes."**

Unwittingly describes it best, as there was clearly a lack of communication between the judges and the group, which is too bad, becuase A-B seemed to lose their mojo after it began.  Some of that needs to fall on Afro-Blue, but I still think the judges should've just let them do their thing and if they crashed and burned, then fine.  Too much of an emphassis was put on "connecting to the lyric" IMO, and I don't think it's something A-B even needed to do in order to survive (unlike D-A). American Boy didn't really connect to the lyric -- it was just a kick-ass arrangement and performance.  Case in point: their swan song was another killer arrangement that had that "pop" and jazz-swagger that their post 'lyric-connecting' songs were lacking.  Ah well.  Glad to hear that Ben may be inviting them to his studio to record at some point.  I hope that happens and they just let loose.

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« Reply #57 on: November 28, 2011, 07:56:51 AM »

NBC told New Media Solutions to tell me to tell you to not forget that it's the Sing Off Finale tonight.

Don't forget.

They also sent a video: http://www.nbc.com/sing-off/video/season-finale-preview/1369756
I don't know if it's any good because it doesn't work in the UK. At least I assume it doesn't. I didn't try.

~A
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« Reply #58 on: November 28, 2011, 08:02:23 AM »

Correction: I did try and it and it does work.
Good heavens! Is this what y'all are watching?

~A
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« Reply #59 on: November 28, 2011, 06:03:07 PM »

"THANK YOU 'MERICA!"
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