The show is over for The YellowJackets from the University of Rochester on NBC's "The Sing-Off."
The group, which includes 2009 Niagara-Wheatfield graduate Michael Pittman, placed seventh Monday in the a cappella competition. Unlike the previous week's hip-hop competition, there was no last-minute rescue with a sing-off between the bottom two groups.
After a Halloween-themed opening, the seven finalists competed with superstar medleys. The YellowJackets performed Billy Joel's "The River of Dreams," "She's Always a Woman" and "Uptown Girl."
"You always sing with loads of heart," commented Judge Ben Folds. Judge Shawn Stockman said, especially with "She's Always a Woman," the group "really showed another side to The YellowJackets." Judge Sara Bareilles commented on their "raw energy," but when it was down to just Urban Method and The YellowJackets on stage, she said that energy overpowered their leads.
Fans on The YellowJackets' Facebook page asked the judges "WTH were they thinking???" and even Entertainment Weekly called The YellowJackets' elimination "unjust." Entertainment Weekly also noted that "it was the best swan song ever" when the group left the stage singing their own rendition (with asides to the judges and NBC) of Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" - "I get knocked down, but I get up again. You're never going to keep me down!"
Group member Jamal Moore noted that The YellowJackets were grateful for the opportunity to compete, learn, make new friends and make families and fans proud, but promised, "We're going to keep making music."
The YellowJackets had hoped to win the show's top prize to help the impoverished and AIDs-stricken village of Maseno, Kenya. The group visited Kenya from May 20 to June 13 this year and met and sang with the school choir of Maseno, which had won a national choir competition. A documentary on the experience, "United We Sing," is expected to be released next summer after The YellowJackets return to Kenya in the near future for more filming.