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Emotional Vocal Point advances after tribute to member's late father

BYU’s male a cappella group Vocal Point brought a sentimental side to the stage of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” on Monday. All remaining eight groups performed hip-hop hits, and the BYU team was among the seven that advanced to next week.

Vocal Point’s Ben Murphy was the lead singer for their rendition of “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy. The song paid tribute to Ben’s dad, who recently died from leukemia. By the end of the song, all of Vocal Point’s hats were off in respect for lost loved ones, and the teary-eyed crowd reacted with a standing ovation.

Judge Ben Folds admitted they were the first group to make him cry on TV. The performance was “a really gorgeous choral arrangement,” he said. “I was very moved.”

Singing through intense emotions and nerves may have been the reason Vocal Point received their very first criticism on some pitch issues.

“I think this is the first time I’ve heard any sort of pitch problems with you guys,” said judge Sara Bareilles. “But performing is about being authentic. I actually appreciate how vulnerable you all chose to be right there, and Ben, especially you.”

BYU grad Amy Whitcomb and current BYU student Laina Walker are competing as part of the all-female group Delilah on “The Sing-Off” and will continue to the next round after their rendition of Lil Wayne’s “How to Love,” another emotional performance.

Other things the judges said about Vocal Point:

Shawn Stockman: “That was a very honorable dedication to your father, Ben, and I know he’s looking down and he’s smiling.”

Sara Bareilles: “I just want to say how brave you guys are to choose something that is emotional, and this is such a wonderful message of how music transcends the genre. I think you made a very conscious and reverent song choice, and it was very moving.”

Ben Folds: “Ben, you’re basically a baritone, but you are singing beautifully in your tenor range."

Writer: Staley Carter White

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