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Hey a cappella party people! “The Sing-Off” does it up party anthem style. Everybody say what, what? … Wait, what?

The remaining nine groups faced a difficult challenge with the party anthems. All the songs are iconic, signature songs, known for their original versions and singers (more or less), so it’s hard to copy them. The groups all did a pretty strong job though, considering.

Here are my top 5 performances of the night: 

1. Home Free: Life is a Highway: Rascal Flatts? Rascal. Flatts. Really? I know Home Free are country guys, but the song was originally performed by Tom Cochrane (who?), and as Jewel said, they don’t have any of the instruments that make them sound country. That aside, I loved this rendition. These guys are great, with terrific vocal percussion, nice harmonies and great lead (cute too). And wow, that bass! His voice just reverberates right down to your soul.

2. Street Corner Renaissance, Do You Love Me: I love that beat box lesson between Charles “Sonny” Banks and the percussionist from Vocal Rush. More of that, please. It’s interesting to see if Street Corner will introduce vocal percussion in the future, because while I enjoyed the performance, it can feel a little flat without percussion—especially for dance music, which is so rhythmic. The performance is good fun, and I love their dancing. I also agree with Ben and the gents: sitting around playing games is much more my idea of a party than, say, going to a bar and getting drunk.

3. Calle Sol, Livin’ La Vida Loca: They say they are professional dancers, which may be true. They certainly can move, but to the point where it’s a detriment to their vocal performance. The lead singer is too breathy, and their performance last week was a bit choppy too. But I enjoy their rhythms, and each time they change tempo it gets better. I also like the percussion too, but I thought I heard something in the package that I didn’t hear in the performance.

4. Ten, Hot in Herre: This was great. Besides the fact that they picked a good song (though I generally prefer Weird Al’s version), it has great percussion, terrific energy, and a really nice arrangement. Awesome. Good fun, and it brought out a funny 98 Degrees joke from Ben. I just adore him. He’s such a giant nerd—which is a very good thing: he works it and plays with it and totally owns it.

5. The Filharmonic, This is How We Do It: I’m really starting to enjoy this group. They exude personality, and they sound really nice, though I did want a little more blend; the bass and drums were a tad too loud. Terrific arrangement too. Lots of fun.

The Sing-Off Challenge came down to Calle Sol and AcoUstiKats, who both had difficulties with rhythm and tempo. As Shawn pointed out, the AcoUstiKats definitely brought some emotional content to the challenge song, Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” and they had more variety. While Calle Sol had fun salsafying their rhythms, it started to feel a little one-note. The judges apparently agreed, sending Calle Sol home.

So what do you think, aca-people? Did the judges make the right decision, or were you hoping to keep Calle Sol around longer? Which were your favorite numbers?

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