The UK male a capella ensemble was voted out of the competition along with Orlando-based VoicePlay in the first episode of the NBC competition show to feature a double elimination.
“It was our pleasure, and we don’t regret a thing!” a tweet on the group’s Twitter page read. “Thank you to everyone, especially the #BBN. You have NOT seen the last of us.”
UK president Eli Capilouto tweeted, “Very proud of our men in blue tonight. The acoUstiKats had an incredible run!”
The Kentucky dozen did better than their only other collegiate ensemble in the competition, Princeton University’s Footnotes, who were eliminated in this season’s first episode, last Monday.
Wednesday night’s show, the fifth of this season, featured songs from movies. The acoUstiKats were given Bob Seger’s Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll, which was featured in the 1982 Tom Cruise starmaker Risky Business. Echoing the iconic scene with that song in the movie, three members of the group stripped down to their boxers for the performance’s finale. (Funny coincidence: The Princeton Footnotes Facebook profile pic features all the group’s members in their boxers.)
Judges Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman and Jewel gave the group generally high marks for the performance, though there were complaints that their harmonies broke up in the more heavily choreographed moments and Folds said the performance did not feel very rock ‘n’ roll.
This episode also featured the first time all groups in the competition were put in “Ultimate Sing-Off” battles for survival. The acoUstikats faced off against VoicePlay in a performance of the Rocky IV song Eye of the Tiger. While the format of the show has been that one group loses in Ultimate Sing Offs, both groups ended up in the bottom three and both were eliminated. The judges saved Los Angeles-based The Filharmonic, who will continue to the show’s penultimate episode Thursday night against country ensemble Home Free, Oakland high school ensemble Vocal Rush and Dallas-based ensemble Ten, which includes three sisters from Louisville: Sydnii Jazz Raymore, Lenisa Raymore and Teaira Dunn. From the judges and Twitter’s perspective, Ten gave the performance of the night with Adele’s Skyfall, from the James Bond movie of the same name.
‘Kat Evan Jennings Pulliam tweeted, “And just so the #BBN knows, we refused to leave that stage until we sang all the way through My Old Kentucky Home.” Group members have said their performance of the state song at a Nashville audition in May secured their spot on the show, which is in its fourth season.
Next up for the acoUstiKats could be the Sing-Off tour, which includes a Louisville date March 16. Asked earlier this week whether the acoUstiKats were on the tour, member Jeremy Michael Lewis said they did not know yet.
The group has been in Lexington for the duration of the broadcasts, which were filmed in Los Angeles late in the summer. The winner has been determined, and the series finale will air Dec. 23.