Vocal Point is safe to sing another day

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Khakis, yellow ties, reading glasses and a clean-cut image no longer define the group Vocal Point.

Robotic dance moves, air guitar and a new “bad boy” image helped the group advance Monday night on NBC’s “The Sing-Off.”

Vocal Point entertained the crowd and judges with renditions of a rock classic and a country hit, propelling the group into the final weeks of the contest. Each week, one group will be eliminated from the remaining five until the last three groups perform live on Nov. 28. Live voting by fans at home will determine the winner of this year’s sing-off.

Delilah, an all-female group featuring BYU students Amy Lynn Whitcomb and Laina Walker, did not fare as well, being eliminated from the competition last night.

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BYU's Vocal Point reckons to dominate "The Sing-Off."
Shawn Stockman, of the R&B group Boyz II Men and judge of “The Sing-Off,” marveled at Vocal Point’s new bad boy image after they performed the classic rock song “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks.

“Is that how they do it in Provo, Utah?” Stockman asked. “You actually showed another side to the boys from Provo. You guys are clean cut but you showed a little bad boy in you too which was good.”

Ross Welch, a high tenor from Cody, Wyo., took the lead in the classic rock song and showed off his incredible range and hit high notes that only animals have the capacity to hear.

“I think I may have taken it a little too far to the rocker side,” Welch said. “But I just really let loose up there. I think we gave a pretty entertaining performance you could tell by the audience’s reaction.”

With only five groups remaining on the show, the judges have the difficult task of differentiating between several extremely talented groups. As the competition draws closer to the finale, the judges are becoming critical of every aspect of each performance in order to crown this year’s winner.

Ben Folds, a judge on “The Sing-Off,” had some negative feedback for BYU’s group after their first performance Monday night.

“To me it wasn’t one of your performances that I would want to hear on a record,” Folds said. “I would’ve preferred that since you were sticking with the staging to maybe stick a little more stationary. A little less hair metal, a little less Vegas and stick with the coolness of what the song was. And that’s an artistic choice. You guys always rock and you rocked this time.”

As the talent of the remaining groups on the show has leveled off, competitors stress the importance of rehearsal and practices to perfect each performance.

Jake Hunsaker, a high tenor from Ogden, described Vocal Point’s experience balancing school and the competition.

“Juggling school was very stressful,” Hunsaker said. “Not only were we gone one day a week, we also took Sundays off. All in all, we had two whole days less than the other groups had to put a song together each week. We would finish a 16-hour day of rehearsals, get back to the hotel and start on three hours of homework each night.”

Despite the fact that the team has had less time to prepare for each week’s performance, the group continues to advance. The cameras on “The Sing-Off” captured footage of Vocal Point practicing in a crammed shuttle as the team traveled back and forth from Provo to Los Angeles.

With only two more weeks of performances remaining before the live finale, Vocal Point hopes they can reach the end to receive votes from members of the LDS Church.

“Mostly I think our versatility helps us appeal to a wide demographic which would pull through for a final vote,” Hunsaker said. “We also have access to the most wide-spread, mobile voters’ network in the country – the Church.”

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