Soul'd Out's Ethan Crystal talked to Digital Spy about the group's song choice and experience on The Sing-Off:
Congratulations on the performance!
"Thanks so much. I really loved it too."
How did you become a part of the show?
"Our group has been competing for a really long time in ICHSAs, which are international high school championships for a cappella run by Varsity Vocals. We've been involved in that for a long period of time so that's a place we got to hone our skills for a few years. That spring we placed second place in the ICHSA finals and after that, we decided we could take it the next stage further and audition for The Sing-Off and we were accepted for the show."
What was your main goal going into the show?
"Of course the goal was to win, that is everyone's goal I suppose, but really it was all about the experience and taking in the challenge from all these musical groups. I gotta say the coolest part of our Sing-Off experience was getting to rehearse and meet with such talented musical people, not even the groups, but they have this team of arrangers and directors that help groups rehearse and get in top shape for TV. Some of the things they said and their ideas really hit home for me."
How did you choose your first song 'Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In'?
"It's a song we've been doing for a long time. We did it a couple of years ago for the ICHSA finals, not the year we got second, but the year before. We're really familiar with it and we just love the vibe of that song and the feeling of the song, how we just want to give the joy to everybody, just let the sunshine in and tell everybody how great it has been. We love embodying that spirit."
I thought it was an interesting choice because when I heard the Glee comparison and fact you are such a young band, I assumed you would put a twist on a current song, so it was a nice surprise!
"That was also one of the reasons we picked it. We liked the fact we could do more rich songs with meaning, and that's generally been our style throughout the years. For example, at the ICHSAs before The Sing-Off we sung 'Knights of Cydonia' by Muse, 'Come Sail Away' by Styx and a Beatles song."
Watch Soul'd Out perform 'Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In' below:
How did it feel performing in front of the judges and knowing millions of people would be watching you?
"There is really nothing like it, it's just absolutely fantastic. Honestly, what I remember the most, apart from performing on stage, was sitting up in the booth with my group and watching the other groups go ahead of us and picking out the things in the other groups that reflected our goals for the stage, like the energy of the Dartmouth Aires or the blend of Sonos or stuff like that. Just getting mentally prepared to be on that stage in front of all those people and embodying the song - that's really what it's all about."
Were you happy with your performance?
"Oh, absolutely. Of course some of the judges' comments were a little bit critical but they were also very honest. I was glad their criticism was constructive and I appreciated what they had to say but I definitely thought we were very competent and pulled it off."
Did you get to speak to Nick at any stage during your time on the show and maybe get some advice from him?
"Nick Lachey is a great guy. We talked to him briefly before we went on and he had introduced himself at the dress rehearsal - not that he had too! He's a really nice guy."
Watch Soul'd Out perform their swansong below:
What has the reaction of your friends at school and the people back home been?
"They were really excited to see us. Through the entire process we've had so much support from our school and our school board and the community of Wilsonville, and I think we really achieved our goal of showing people what we can do. Wilsonville isn't a performing arts school, it's just a public school in western Oregon that has a community filled with people who really care about the arts which is really what made our dream possible."
What will happen to the group with ten members graduating? Will the group be getting new members now?
"That's usually the way it is every year. When you say the word Soul'd Out it's not one particular group of people, kids graduate and move on. Usually most kids stay in the group for three or four years max, sometimes two, sometimes one. Soul'd Out this year had ten seniors on The Sing-Off and all of them graduated so Soul'd Out right now only contains six members who were on The Sing-Off. I have had the privilege of hearing their music and I think they are really good but I definitely also think a reunion is in order sometime soon when everyone is back home!"
What do you think of the remaining groups on the show - do you have any favourites?
"I don't know if I can choose! The groups we mainly got to meet were the ones that were in our bracket, so the ones on this week's episode. We were definitely fans of Pentatonix, I think they really brought something cool and different and interesting to the stage. I love the Aires, The Collective, North Shore... I want to grow up to be those guys in North Shore! It was just so cool to meet all those people from so many musical styles and tastes."
The Sing-Off continues Monday at 8/7c on NBC
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