LOS ANGELES — Despite convincing the judges that they could sing with soul, BYU's Vocal Point was voted off "The Sing-off" reality show Monday night.
Judges Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles and Shawn Stockman said the group played it too safely with its rhythm and blues classics number "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by the Temptations.
Bareilles said the number was sweet and that Ben Murphy sang a great lead vocal but overall, the song "felt a little disjointed."
Stockman said he wanted more of a rough sound to the song and Folds said while Vocal Point is always on, he wanted more risk-taking in its delivery.
The group's first number, "Every Little Step" by Bobby Brown, won considerably more praise from the trio of judges.
Stockman said the R&B hits number was "truly, truly impressive with the walking and the talking and the singing."
Folds complimented Tanner Nilsson on being able to sing, provide percussion and dance all at the same time.
He singled out Robert Seely's low-note addition to the arrangement, which he said added variety and depth.
"My jaw was on the floor," Bareilles added. "You do have soul in that little white body," she told McKay Crockett.
"I have soul! Sara Bareilles said so. I'm so happy!" Crockett said after the song.
Crockett said earlier the group members were sacrificing sleep and school for the opportunity to continue to compete on national television but they were thrilled to have the chance to share a message of happiness and joy to America.
Originally, 16 groups sang against one another with one or two groups eliminated each week as they performed a different style song in every show.
Vocal Point landed in the bottom two out of the five groups competing for the $200,000 and the Sony recording contract.
Pentatonix from Arlington, Texas, stays in the fight, along with the Dartmouth Aires from Dartmouth College, Urban Method from Denver and Afro-Blue from Howard University.
Next week, the audience gets its first opportunity to weigh in. On Nov. 28, the winner will be chosen.
Utah stays represented in the Dartmouth Aires with Nic Chuaqui, a Salt Lake City native and West High School graduate, whose father teaches music at the University of Utah.
Chuaqui is the Dartmouth Aires' musical director.
"The Sing-off" airs at 7 p.m. on NBC on Monday nights.
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.