UK’s acoUstiKats on ‘The Sing-Off’ – reset

Element and Vocal Rush face off in Monday's Ultimate Sing-Off. © NBC photo by Greg Gayne.

Element and Vocal Rush face off in Monday’s Ultimate Sing-Off. © NBC photo by Greg Gayne.

Now there are six competitors left in Season 4 of The Sing-Offand with most of the weakest links weeded out, the competition is getting tougher for the University of Kentucky’s acoUstiKats.

The ‘Kats had a night off Monday, the second of two episodes that pitted four teams against each other. New York-based Element was sent to the Ultimate Sing-Off where they got schooled by Oakland-based high school ensemble Vocal Rush and were sent packing.

Wednesday night, the Final 6 will face off on a movie-themed episode Kat Jeremy Michael Lewis says he thinks was the most entertaining of the Season 4 Sing-Off episodes. But he didn’t say if they survived the show featuring a double elimination, meaning the field will be reduced by a third Wednesday night. With things getting serious, here’s a look at who remains.

Ten. The Dallas-based group that includes three sisters from Louisville was formed to compete in The Sing-Off and has said their first public performance together was on the season premiere. But the gospel- and soul-based group has gelled quickly earning increasingly positive assessments from the judges.  They are also one of only two teams not to be sent to an Ultimate Sing-Off, which says something.

Home Free. The country quintet has been a judges’ darling since this season started, Jewel particularly seeming excited to have a country group on the show. Bass Tim Foust has especially distinguished himself in the group’s tight harmonies. But as judge Ben Folds pointed out Monday night, the technique-heavy group needs to make more of an emotional connection to its music. They did make some steps in that direction with their rendition of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire, Monday, and like Ten, Home Free has not been in an Ultimate Sing-Off yet.

The Filharmonic. This is the boy band of this season of The Sing-Off, making viewers swoon and backing it up with very entertaining performances. The Fil did visit the Ultimate Sing-Off Thursday on a very competitive night that may well have strengthened  the group.

acoUstiKats. The University of Kentucky guys had an up-down-up week, visiting the Ultimate Sing-Off on a night they admitted they had given a subpar performance, but finishing the week with a sterling example of choral singing and a member’s marriage proposal. They may be the most interesting group to watch this week to see how they combine the energy and choral work that had earned them praise thus far, but not necessarily in the same performances.

VoicePlay. This group has turned things around since surviving the first Ultimate Sing-Off. Monday night, Folds also told VoicePlay’s members they needed to display more emotion, and they did, though in a very theatrical manner with Honey Larochelle and Eliezer Jacobson seeming to play characters from No Doubt’s Don’t Speak.  Not totally sure they get it, but VoicePlay has certainly improved since opening night.

Vocal Rush. Since the series started, these Oakland teens have been playing above their ages and really showed their mettle in Monday night’s decisive Ultimate Sing Off. I was amused that on the “My Generation” night, they chose Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out for a Hero, which was a hit when I was in high school. But they did it justice, several of the kids showing real lead-singer chops. Would The Sing-Off give the top prize to a high school group? Don’t know, but you have to consider these kids contenders.

There are three episodes left, the next one at 8 p.m. Wednesday on NBC.

Speaking of the ’80s, look at the photo of the acoUstiKats from Wednesday’s show, below, remember it’s movie night, and guess which song they will be singing.

The acoUstiKats on the Dec. 18 episode of "The Sing Off." © NBC photo by Tyler Golden.

The acoUstiKats on the Dec. 18 episode of “The Sing Off.” © NBC photo by Tyler Golden.

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