Sunday evening saw the first live performance show on the Vodafone Icons: Mixed Edition with all 8 groups of 3 taking turns to wow the crowd. With impressive performances from the groups, it seems the competition is going to be keener this season.
Sunday's show kicked off with a performance from RnM, the winners of the maiden edition of Icons. Although they won as a trio, only two members performed on the night, cementing public suspicions that indeed third group member, Denise Williams may have left the group. The show also revealed the names of the various groups and I must say, I wasn't too impressed with their choice of names because most of the names wouldn't sound good on an album cover. Anyway, here is a breakdown of Sunday night's performances:
The first group to perform on the night was Bass, which took on Kwabena Kwabena's hit song, 'Obi Do Wo a Do Nibi'. The performance started a bit slow for me and I felt the arrangement were a bit funny, but it picked up in the middle right through the up tempo bridge, which got the judges clapping in the middle of the performance. Gena West said the group was fantastic, confident, and fabulous, performing together as a team. Appietus also liked the team work and Ms Naa said the group felt comfortable on stage. She described their dance routine as fun.
Ginger was the second group to perform and they did 'No Air' by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown. They had very good harmonies but needed some improvement on their phrasings. Ms Naa said they were incredible with powerful voices. She also urged the public to vote. Appietus however felt they could have worked better as a team while Gena observed that Perez was more confident than the rest of the group members and Sandra sounded off.
The third group, 2JD followed up with their rendition of 'End of the Road' by Boyz to Men. They started off very well but I wasn't so convinced with the arrangement for the second solo performance, it sounded a bit off. However the harmonies all together were good and I particularly liked the acapella ending of the performance. Judge Appietus described the performance as awesome and beautiful, adding that 2JD performed as a group. Gena said she wanted to go up on stage to join them in singing while Ms Naa hoped the male in the group could show a bit more presence rather than letting the girls steal the show.
Vybes performed Dbanj's hit song, 'Fall in Love'. I liked their dance routine and their energetic twist to the song. I wasn't too impressed with the phrasing. Gena said they made the song their own while Appietus felt their voices were all over the place. Ms Naa said some group members had more energy than others and wanted uniform levels of performance from all 3 group members.
Ruff Road took on Asa's popular song, 'Jailor' and they showed an unexpected dance routine to the song. They sounded very original and I particularly liked the adlibs. Ms Naa said it was a good performance, and Appietus commended them for spreading the power across all three members. Gena also said they performed well together.
Sharps took their turn to perform Fugees' version of 'Killing Me Softly'. I liked the original rap that was introduced in the beginning of the song but wasn't impressed with the stage performance of the group. I think the two boys could have interacted more with the female lead. Judge Appietus said it was a good song but Gena felt that Reuben could have worked a lot better with the rest of the group. Ms Naa said she particularly liked the rap in the beginning as well.
Black N Peach took on Rihanna's 'Only Girl'. I felt it was a difficult song choice and although it sounded noisy at some stages, they had good stage presence and their performances sounded very original. Gena West said the performance was unbelievable, and the group rocked with lots of energy. Appietus commented, “I was just enjoying myself. I wish you could play it again”. Ms Naa said they were so exciting to watch.
The final group to perform was Waves with their rendition of 'Stand By Me' originally by Ben E King. They had good vocals and well controlled melodies and even better, they showed some nice movements that didn't make the song appear to be boring. Gena said they were wonderful, Appeitus described the performance as beautiful and Ms Naa thought they showed the right attitude for the song.
It is hard to pick a favourite at the moment. I would need to see them again and perhaps this time, join the live recording at the National Theatre on Thursday so I could watch them performing live before I pick my favourites. However voting has already begun and the public can vote to save their favourite groups in the competition by texting the names of the groups to short code 1738.