The Sing Off - Top 5 perform

The group starts off with a gorgeous version of Joe Cocker's A Little Help From My Friends.  The best word I can use to describe it is "rousing."  It was fantastic!  And Jerry Lawson hit a high note in the middle that made me say, "Whoo!"  I watched it three times before I moved on.

Nick Lachey introduces the groups, then the judges and then tells us that the groups will first be doing "superstar medleys" and then they'll do "judges' request."  After tonight only three groups will remain, and then it's time for America to vote.

Time for superstar medleys. 

On the Rocks will be performing a medley of Elton John tunes.  They start with The Bitch is Back, then move into Benny & the Jets and finally into Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me.  They sounded good, but I didn't love their performance.  Nicole loved it.  Ben said they had problems with the groove--they needed to slow it down.  I think he's right.  Shawn liked that we got to see some other guys singing lead.

After the commercial break we're treated to Committed's version of Joy to the World.

Back to the competition.  Committed will be performing an Usher medley of DJ's Got Us Falling in Love Again, You Got It Bad, and Love In This Club.  All three songs were great, but when they did You got It Bad, it sounded like a recorded studio version with a band.  It could play on the radio.  These are the church boys and Ben said they've taken a journey from "birth control music to that."  He also said, "I didn't miss any instruments, you held down the groove, you were making records on stage."  That's pretty much what I meant.  Shawn loved their transitions, and that they kept the "bounce" that Usher has in his songs. 

Street Corner Symphony takes on The Beatles.  They start with Eleanor Rigby, move into Help, and then sing my favorite Beatles tune, Hey Jude.  Great harmonies!!  The guys look great in spiffy black suits.  Great job.  Shawn thought it started tough, but they picked it up and got better with each song.  Ben agreed. 

Time for another holiday song...this time it's The Backbeats doing I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas. 

For the competition, they're singing Lady Gaga.  We have Poker Face, Paparazzi, and Just Dance. Something about Poker Face was a little off.  Paparazzi (sung by my favorite, Joanna) was great.  Just Dance was pretty good too.   Ben complimented Courtney (the beat box) for the Paparazzi groove.  The judges all liked the performance.

Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town sing Otis Redding.  They start with Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.  Next Try a Little Tenderness (my favorite Otis song) and then Respect, where they brought the gospel.  Great job guys! 

Uh-oh.  The first of two eliminations is coming up.  Based on tonight's performances, I'd let On the Rocks go.  And that's just what the judges do.  In saying goodbye, one of the guys said, "We've all really grown from boys to men and we've shown the nation that we're not just a bunch of pussycats anymore.  I'm just really proud that we haven't been folding under pressure, and I just wish the judges would give us one more night...una noche."  That was great. [In case you're just joining us, the judges on the show are Shawn Stockman from Boys II Men, Nicole S. from the Pussycat Dolls, and Ben Folds.]  For their swan song, they sing The Final Countdown by Europe.

The second part of the show will feature songs that the judges selected for each group to showcase each group's talent & personality.

For Committed, the judges selected Al Green's Let's Stay Together.  In interviews the judges talked about Committed's natural talent, great harmonies, and soulful sound.  Shawn also pointed out that Al Green transitioned from gospel to soul, just as this group is doing.  What a great song choice.  Five of the six guys took turns singing lead (all except the guy maintaining the bass line)-- it was soooo nice...so smooth.  I loved it.  Shawn said it was perfect. 

Street Corner Symphony's holiday tune is Auld Lang Syne.  Nice.

For the competition, the judges talk about their laid back sound like they're sitting on a porch and select Credence Clearwater Revival's Down on the Corner.  Awesome performance.  This one had me up and dancing.  I loved how in the bridge of the song, they threw in their group name.  ♬♫"Down on the corner....♪out in the street...♬ down on the corner ♬....Street Corner Symphony.♫♬"  Ben loved it and was proud of the judges for choosing the right song.  Shawn said it was "playful, soulful, fun, tight, funky...it was funky.  You white boys got funky out there!"  He said it could be called "arena a capella" and Ben chimed in, "arenapella." 

The Backbeats are up next.  The judges talk about Joanna bringing the house down in the their first performance.  Nicole says the judges chose Landslide by Fleetwood Mac because "The Backbeats really shine when they're singing intimate and emotional songs."  Joanna's in the lead and does a great job.  It was beautiful.  Courtney was crying by the end.  The judges loved it and are going to have a tough decision to make later. 

And last, but not least, it's time for Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town.  First, their Christmas song is Silent Night, Holy Night.  Lovely.

The judges' choice for this group is House of the Rising Sun by the Animals, because they like their classic sound. Fantastic!  The bass made the song.  Oh my god...so good...so haunting.  How are the judges going to choose?   Shawn said he thinks the Animals meant for the song to sound like that.  He said it was soul-stirring.  Ben agreed.

For this decision, I have to take the whole season into account.  You can't send any of these groups home based on these performances.  So, thinking about all the performances, I'd have to let The Backbeats go.  On this last song they were amazing, but last week they had some slips.  Plus, I just like the other three groups SO much! 

Nick Lachey announces that these groups are going into the finale:  Committed.  Street Corner Symphony.  The Backbeats.  I was like, OH NO...they let Jerry Lawson go?  And then Nick says "And Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town!"  All four are going through...the judges felt they all deserved to be in the finale and they're going to let America decide.  Good decision!

Voting closes on Sunday, December 19 at 9:00am eastern.  So, if you want to vote, here's the info (limit 10 votes per method; message and data rates may apply for texting.

Committed:  1-877-6-SING-01 (1-877-674-6401) or text 1 to 97979

Street Corner Symphony: 1-877-SING-02 (1-877-674-6402) or text 2 to 97979

The Backbeats:  1-877-SING-03 (1-877-674-6403) or text 3 to 97979

Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town: 1-877-SING-04 (1-877-674-6404) or text 4 to 97979

The finale's on Monday, December 20.  Should be great!

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