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Heat 3 Update: ACM Gospel Choir and City Of Bath through to the finals

3rd August 2008

ACM GospelIn the final heat show the pressure was really on for the remaining five choirs as they were battling it out for the last two places in the live knockout stages.

All five choirs together made a total of 168 people! And they were all on stage for the opening group number 'With a Little Help from my Friends' with some hip-swinging and finger-clicking moves!

ACM Gospel Choir from Guildford were first up and they sang 'I Wanna Be the Only One'. Russell was very impressed and told MD Mark "they are a credit to you". Sharon agreed about Mark and told the choir that they should feed off his "phenomenal energy". Suzi felt they were a bit "solo focussed" and wanted to hear more of them singing as a choir.

A Handbag of Harmonies - the pink feather-boa clad ladies from Chester were singing next. They performed 'Build Me Up Buttercup' and received mix reactions from the judges. Suzi commented that there's "a fine line between clever self irony and cheesiness" and she also felt their arrangement was a bit simplistic. Russell thought Suzi had missed the point and that they were there to have a great time, lots of fun and that MD Matt "did a fantastic job with them."

The City of Bath Male Choir were singing third. They performed 'Unchained Melody' and while Sharon thought they could have done more with the arrangement, it did give her the full, rich and lush "wall of sound" that she wanted. Suzi agreed, saying that she wasn't "gripped" by the words, but they had a "fantastic range of dynamics" and Russell felt it wasn't their best performance so far.

Hear Me Now's first song was 'Mercy', and MD Maggie, who is a big fan of Russell, thought it was a cheeky way of asking the judges to show some mercy! Russell certainly thought it was "a very sexy performance from all the ladies", Sharon felt it was a "fantastic, confident start" and Suzi thought it was confident but too focussed on Maggie.

Open Arts Community Choir from Belfast sang 'Something Inside so Strong'. Suzi was full of praise for MD Bev saying she was "one of the most talented directors we have in this competition", but she did think "some of the tuning was a bit unstable." Russell agreed with Suzi and Sharon was also disappointed with their tuning although emotionally she loved what they did saying "all the feeling and passion was there."

ACM Gospel Choir's second song was 'One Love' and all three judges found it an energy-filled and uplifting performance. Sharon thought they could have exploited the reggae style more, and although Suzi agreed that the chorus was very simple she was impressed with the "balance, blend and quality of sound."

Next up were A Handbag of Harmonies singing 'Downtown'. Suzi had told them that they either had to make her laugh or be technically more challenging. After the performance she said it did make her feel happy but "I have to say over all not quite my bag!"

Before the City of Bath Male Choir's second song 'Bring Him Home', Russell told them he wanted to "hear that wall of sound and I want it to knock me off my seat." While the judges agreed that the soloist Laurie was out of tune at the start, Suzi thought his voice had a simple quality that was very appropriate for the words. And Russell was pleased to get the "wall of sound" that he was looking for.

Hear Me Now! sang 'California Dreamin' which the judges felt was a very mixed performance. As they have more women than men Suzi felt that when they were singing loudly it "exposed the unevenness in the blend." Sharon commented that they had a very shaky start, but that the ending was beautiful.

Next to sing were Open Arts Community Choir with an 'Abba Medley'. Sharon felt they were flat at times but that the minor chord at the end was absolutely lovely and the basses had a strong weight. Suzi agreed about the clever use of the male basses and women tenors, despite the fact she's not an Abba fan!

Now it was time for the judges to make their decision about which choir should leave, and which choir was going through to the finals.

The judges felt that A Handbag of Harmonies "didn't quite make the grade vocally" so they were the first choir to leave.

And the stand out choir were ACM Gospel, as the judges felt they "have all the vocal elements that make a great choir, they were astounding on stage and they delivered two electric performances."

In the results show ACM Gospel Choir opened with a winner's performance of 'I Believe I Can Fly' and the up stepped the three choirs who were fighting it out for that precious, last position in the knockouts. Open Arts kicked things off with 'I Say A Little Prayer', followed by Hear Me Now! singing 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight', and City of Bath Male Choir finished with 'I Believe'.

Jonathan Ansell performed 'Barcelona', whilst the judges were deciding which choir to put through. Finally, they made their decision and it was City of Bath Male Choir who would take the final place in the knockouts with Hear Me Now! and Open Arts Community Choir going home.

You can watch the show again on BBC iPlayer, and you can find out more about the choirs in the knockouts in our Choir Section. You can also get a full track listing of all the songs performed in the show.

Choirs through to the knockouts

ACM Gospel Choir

City of Bath Male Choir

Only Men Aloud!


Sense of Sound

Ysgol Glanaethwy

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