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'The Sing-Off': Soul'd Out & Messiah's Men After Their Exits!

October 3rd, 2011 11:00am EDT | Brittany Frederick By: Brittany Frederick favorite Add to My News

NBC's The Sing-Off is back - and after leaving the competition, members of Soul'd Out and Messiah's Men spoke with me about what happened - and what's next!

The Sing-Off

Hailing from Wilsonville High School in Wilsonville, OR, Soul'd Out is comprised of high school students of varying grade levels and musical backgrounds. Here's what group member Ethan Bryant had to say.

What motivated your group members to say that appearing on the show was something you wanted to do?

Coming fresh off our 2nd place finish at the International Championship of High School A Cappella (ICHSA) finals, a lot of us were initially ready to take a break from competition, but after we discussed it over a few rehearsals, we all realized that the only place to go was up - both in our musicality and our aspirations.  

Did your experience on the show live up to your expectations?

Definitely. We had heard a bit about what it would be like from [previous contestant] Courtney Jensen, so we were fully prepared for the long rehearsals and for taking the necessary time to polish up our songs and choreo to tip top shape.

What did you take away from the experience of The Sing-Off personally? What are you going to walk away with?

The greatest thing about our experience on The Sing-Off was meeting so many skilled groups and individuals. Personally, as one of the arrangers and rehearsal leaders for Soul'd Out, I enjoyed most of all the opportunity to work with the show's team of arrangers ("The Dream Team"), headed by Deke Sharon.

In retrospect, is there anything about your group's final performance that you would have changed?

I think we left our hearts out there. Sure, Ben [Folds] and Sara [Bareilles] were correct about a few musical things we could've done better, but in the end I think we achieved our goal with "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In" - we really showed our power, our energy, and our youth.

Had you continued forward, is there a particular song or genre that you would have liked to have performed on the show?

I know we would have loved to tackle some classic and current rock songs that even further showcase our maturity - our set for ICHSAs this last year included "Come Sail Away" by Styx and "Knights of Cydonia" by Muse.

Do you have any future plans beyond this point? How can fans keep abreast of what you're doing?

Soul'd Out is definitely a lot different now - only six members from the Sing-Off group remain in high school, the rest graduated - but I definitely think that it's in good hands, and I definitely think that there's a reunion in order this fall. For updates there is a group twitter, @silly_souldout.

As for me personally, I am currently a voice major at Carnegie Mellon University. You can follow me at my twitter, @EthanCrystal1.

What music would you recommend to our readers?

I'm a huge fan of Muse. I also love house music (Deadmau5, Wolfgang Gartner, Swedish House Mafia), and the fact that it's leaking into the iTunes top 10!

What was the biggest challenge for you in competing on a national television stage?

As the youngest group, we had a lot to prove against the more experienced groups, but we really showed everyone that we could hold our own. We couldn't have done any of this without the help of our community in Wilsonville; they love and support us more than anything, and I know we really made them proud.

The Sing-Off

Also leaving the competition this past week were Messiah's Men, a gospel group originating in Africa that are now based in Minneapolis, MN. David Wilson, Jr. gave me his parting thoughts.

What motivated each of your group members to say that appearing on the show was something you wanted to do?

The Sing-Off is a great show highlighting a cappella music to a national audience and as an a cappella group seeking to reach a larger and more diverse audience, many of the group members believed that the show was a great place to appear.

Some members expressed initial reservation that as a Christian group we should not audition for the show but these were addressed during internal discussions. We believed our story of hope and triumph, and our Afrocentric style of music, needed to be heard by a national audience.

Did your experience on the show live up to your expectations?

We learned a lot! We did not really know what to expect but our experience was incredible. It was great interacting with individuals that are very knowledgeable about music, the music industry, and television. The vocal coaches, choreography team, wardrobe department were excellent in their support of us. The production staff and wranglers were all very cordial and responsive to our needs.

What did you take away from the experience of The Sing-Off personally? What are you going to walk away with?

Personally, my take away is that competing on the national scene, and perfecting one’s act, whatever that may be, takes a lot of work. I have more appreciation for the importance of rehearsing over and over, and always pushing oneself to be better.

In retrospect, is there anything about your group's final performance that you would have changed?

We worked really hard rehearsing the song and gave it our best shot during the performance. The judges determined that our best was not good enough to advance to the next round resulting in our early exit. Their suggestions about the technical details of our harmony and centering our key are valuable as we strive to become better. They gave us specific areas to improve on and we will work on those.

Had you continued forward, is there a particular song or genre that you would have liked to have performed on the show?

The music team was very supportive in the song selection, allowing us to have songs that were positive in message, and that had religious undertones.

Do you have any future plans beyond this point? How can fans keep abreast of what you're doing?

Our plan is to continue to tell our story and make Afrocentric gospel a cappella music prominent. We will work on future recordings - CD and video - and continue to reach fans via concerts and tours. Fans can follow us through our website, and on Facebook and Twitter.

It is important to keep the plight of disadvantaged populations and our war-ravaged nation part of the public discourse, and use whatever influence we have to raise funds to help orphanages in Liberia, as we have been doing.

What music would you recommend to our readers?


I hate to appear selfish but I would recommend the Messiah’s Men album called Full Circle available on Amazon, cdbaby, iTunes, Zune, Napster, and messiahsmen.com.

What was the biggest challenge for you in competing on a national television stage?

Our biggest challenge was overcoming the nerves. It is a quite overwhelming experience knowing that you’re performing on a national television stage, and that your performance is being judged by well accomplished artists like Shawn Stockman, Sara Bareilles, and Ben Folds.

Soul'd Out and Messiah's Men won't be the only groups sent packing. Don't miss tonight's all-new episode of The Sing-Off (8 PM ET/PT on NBC), where you'll find out who else is heading home next!

© 2011 Starpulse.com
Photo Credits: NBC


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