BYU’s male a cappella team Vocal Point earned their spot in the final six groups on NBC’s “The Sing-Off” through their performance Monday night. Judges and the studio audience loved their dynamic and hip-swinging medley of Elvis Presley hits.
Dressed in classic jailbird stripes, the group paid tribute to the king of rock ‘n roll with a medley that concluded with a rousing interpretation of “Jailhouse Rock” after kicking off with “Don’t Be Cruel.” In between, their performance of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” stood out for its sincerity after lead vocalist Jake Hunsaker said, “We want to dedicate the second song to the women in our lives who are putting up with our absences.”
Hunsaker’s wife Sanita was pictured in the crowd, and Tanner Nilsson discussed how he and his fiancée Ashley postponed their wedding to support Vocal Point during the competition (they have since married).
Prior to the taping, Vocal Point claimed that Monday night’s performance would redeem them from pitch problems the previous week, when they were struggling with the emotions brought to the surface after the death of Ben Murphy’s father. Judge Ben Folds welcomed their return to pitch perfection with his first comment: “Oh, you’re back. That’s good.”
Michael Christensen and McKay Crockett were the other leads during the medley. They earned praises by the judges and a standing ovation from the studio audience.
“Jake, I really loved the lead on 'I Can’t Help Falling in Love,' and of course McKay, you killed it,” said Folds. “I liked that Mike came out not even thinking about sounding like Elvis. It was an honest, plaintive delivery.”
“This is really seeing you guys in your element. I thought you chose great vocalists for this one,” said Sara Bareilles. “I’m a huge Jake fan...You are so sincere. It is just really nice to watch you mean every word you say.”
BYU grad Amy Whitcomb and current BYU student Laina Walker are also competing as part of the all-female group Delilah on “The Sing-Off” – they also advanced.
Monday, Nov. 7, the Vocal Point Alumni Association will host a “watch party” where fans can watch the next episode with group members. It will be at Jordan Commons Megaplex Theatres in Sandy; doors open at 6:45 p.m.
Other comments from the judges about Vocal Point:
Shawn Stockman: “As far as I’m concerned, I laughed, I cried, and I was forever changed after this performance. No seriously, it was like the appropriate mood changes with every song. And I was like what’s next? What are they going to do next? And it was just entertaining. Great job.”
Sara Bareilles: “And I also really appreciate that you were really pushing the arrangement in terms of modulation and changing the groove up, and I thought that was really interesting and made the song that much more special. And I was just along for the ride.”
Writer: Staley Carter White