Week 1 is in the books! And as usual, good times were rollin' at Karaoke Cave on Wednesday night...
In Round 1, we saw JTT battle Vicious & Delicious. George’s (JTT) “Fat-Bottomed Girls” beat out Sean’s (VD) “All the Young Dudes” by a comfortable margin, but both guys brought great charisma to the stage. We haven’t seen George in a few seasons – from what I understand he and teammate Jonny have been literally cruising around the world singing for their supper – but it’s great to have them both back competing with JTT. What does JTT stand for? You’ll have to come Wednesdays to Cave to find out! We also saw two very strong debuts from Linmarie (JTT), who sang “Piece of My Heart,” and Ellen (VD), who sang “F**ing Perfect.” Although Linmarie’s soulful performance got the win, both women displayed powerful vocals and solid stage presence. Welcome to League, ladies! In the group match, JTT’s dynamic duo Jonny and George sang a banter-filled “Takin’ it To the Streets” but their charm was no match for the VD group song, “Proud Mary.” Megan, Dan and Tony blew the judges away with their vocals, scoring an average of 7.57 on sound, and the choreographed dance netted an average showmanship score of 8.0!
Round 2 featured multiple-time champions Ape of the Harsh Yard with new member Bryn against Whiskey Business, a merger of two solid teams from Season 9. For the guys, JW (WB) sang “My Girl” with frenetic bees dancing behind him... as cute/funny as the bees and stingers were, JW’s mellifluousness was what really sold the song. Tying JW for overall score was Eric (Ape) with “Hemorrhage in My Hands.” He used a tampon as a prop… you see where this is going? The jury is still out on whether his interpretation was funny or just flat-out disturbing but as always he sounded great and Ape never disappoints in the entertainment department! Amanda’s (Ape) “Let’s Hear it For the Boy” featured her signature amazing vocals and Eric bouncing around spiritedly as the “boy” while she pretended to be embarrassed. This was a tough match for Amanda, though, as she was up against the highest scoring solo of the night. Rizzo (WB) sang “Zombie” while Jason, portraying a “zombie” on bathsalt, ate people’s faces. SO clever, and the crowd "ate it up"! Ahaha! For the group songs Whiskey Business paid tribute to their team name and picked an unusual song for karaoke… “Tequila”! Although there was more drinking than singing going on in this song, it was really fun and enjoyable to watch. Their risky move didn't quite pay off as a win, but they scored a respectable 6.5 and against another team may even have snagged them a win, but they were up against the highest-rated performance of the night with Ape’s “Alone,” sung by Bryn, Julie and Andrew. The girls had some tight harmony complemented by Andrew’s rich baritone, and the whole effect was really impressive. So the round went 1-1-1 with Eric and JW tying, Rizzo beating out Amanda, and Ape beating Whiskey. Phew!
Round 3 featured three-season veterans St. Elmo’s Choir who have had a rough go of it in this League in terms of win percentage, but make up for it by having the most heart of any team. If you aren’t friends with them yet, make it happen; you won’t be sorry. Elmo battled the unpronounceable free agent team Call Me Maeby Funke. CMMF kind of picked their own theme, not sure whether it was intentional: their set consisted of “Without You,” “Without Me” and “Missing You.” Awesomeness! Elmo brought out the big guns with Richard wearing a priest collar, singing “Hard Rock Hallelujah” and basically frightening everyone. How can he be so sweet, yet also so effing scary? This is one of life’s great mysteries. With a different kind of scary, newbie Chris W (CMMF) busted out Eminem for his debut and nailed all the lyrics to “Without Me.” I am not sure whether people appreciate how difficult this is to do, but I shore did – well done, Chris! Rap is tough to score though, and Richard really sold his rockin' priestness, so Elmo took the win for male solo. For the ladies, Serena (CMMF) sang an intense “Missing You” and Brie (Elmo), wearing an appropriate outfit and surrounded by teammates waving shiny streamers, tackled “Xanadu.” Serena got the win, but only by a hair - this was an intense matchup! Finally, Elmo beat the group with just two points on showmanship with their “I Knew Him So Well” from Chess, depicting Richard caught in the middle of a Brie-David love triangle, edging out CMMF’s “Without You,” which was sung and danced with heart and soul and absolutely beautiful. Although Elmo took this one 2-1 this was the closest match of the night. Sometimes it can be hard for rookies to succeed, especially in a league of veterans like this season, but somehow I don’t think we’re going to have that problem with this team... it will be interesting to see how they do!
So there you have it! Although we’re smaller in number this summer, this may be the most competitive league yet. The free agent team had a strong debut, rookies Ellen, Linmarie and Chris showed some serious chops, and we also have the return of Jonathan J who for a very long time was #1 on the male all-time list (Cullen just narrowly edged him out last season)... not to mention scary-good Ape of the Harsh Yard, and the intimidating melange of some of the best players on two teams with VD and JTT. And Elmo was down in number but they added some fabulous guys in Season 9 so they are really due for their breakout season. Right now it is definitely anyone’s game!
This Week’s Notable Performances
Highest Rated Male Solo: Eric (Ape) and JW (WB) (tie)
Highest Female Solo: Rizzo (WB)
Highest Group Performance: Ape
Eargasm Solo (best sound score): Rizzo and JW, followed closely by Linmarie (JTT)
Showstopping Solo (best show score): Rizzo, followed closely by Amanda
Best Overall Performance: Ape, followed by Rizzo
Closest matchup: Eric vs. JW (tie), followed by Brie vs. Serena (0.5 point margin with edge to Serena)
Honorable Mention: I’m going to give out three of those this week. First, to Ellen for showing some serious chops with P!nk. Second, to Chris W for his solid performance of Eminem – rap is always hard scoring-wise, but not many people can pull off what he did as well as he did it. Last but not least, I would venture that VD’s “Proud Mary” was among the best we’re going to see at League this season. The judges may not have been warmed up yet, but everything about that performance was so solid… well, everything except Eric’s balloon-bosom, which popped right afterwards.
Great job to everyone this week… it’s going to be an amazing season!