'The Sing-Off' premiere: Competition really starts with The Backbeats, climaxes with Committed

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The talent in the Season 2 premiere of "The Sing-Off" seemed heavily weighted in the second half of the competition. After a controversial Group 1 dismissal, the show bounced back with several moving performances in the second group.

In the first group of five, traditional soul a capella group, Oakland's Jerry Lawson & Talk of The Town, dominated with a song that was fairly within their comfort range, "Save The Last Dance For Me." They coasted into the second round and deserved it. 

We were frustrated with who the judges decided to eliminate, though. They gave a pass to Eugene, Oregon YouTube stars, On the Rocks, who not only did the Lady Gaga song that made them popular on the video site, but whose sound seemed a bit "one-trick-pony" to us. In their stead, Boston's Pitch Slapped were sent packing despite their crowd-pleasing performance of Cobra Starship's "Good Girls Go Bad."

In Group 2, the competition really started. First, The Backbeats, a group that were apparently engineered from several California a capella groups (including two singers who competed in Season 1) to specifically win "The Sing-Off," set the bar for the competition. Their strongest asset being their lead singer on Beyonce's "If I Were a Boy."

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Then, just when you thought this competition was a wrap when Southern gospel singers, Committed, admitted that they had never done Top 40 (which we prematurely judged them for). The Alabama boys surprised us all when they took Maroon 5's "This Love" from pop rock song to a soulful jam. Nicole Scherzinger ("Dancing with the Stars," The Pussycat Dolls) described fellow judge Shawn Stockman's (Boyz II Men) reaction to the boys as a "musical orgasm." And Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five), easily the most technically-minded judge, summed the group's performance up succinctly with "neat." Control yourself, Ben.

In the end, New Jersey's Men of Note were sent packing and, unlike the earlier elimination, we were at peace with that decision.

Round 2 of "The Sing-Off" airs Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Did you agree with the judges? Do you think our tin ears wouldn't know good a capella if it "pitch slapped" us? Sound off below! 
Photo/Video credit: NBC