HomeThe Sing-Off Announces Vocal Rush As Its First Competitor

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In a video posted late last night, the a cappella world got a rush of excitement.

Vocal Rush, an award-winning high school group from the Oakland (CA) School of the Arts, is the first group announced as a competitor in season four of The Sing-Off. In the nearly two minute video, Vocal Rush covers Delta Rae’s gospel-tinged “Bottom of the River”, complete with an energetic step show to finish.

This is the first major announcement from NBC since trumpeting the show’s return and premiere, scheduled for Monday Dec. 9th  (9-11 p.m. ET/PT). Now termed a “holiday series” by the network, the show originally debuted in December 2009 as a five-night event. After becoming a pop-culture sensation, it became a weekly series in 2011. This year’s season will run for seven episodes with the finale set for Monday, Dec. 23rd - another two-hour episode (9-11 p.m. ET/PT). The winner of season 4 gets a recording contract and a $100,000 grand prize.

Vocal Rush will be the youngest but a formidable group in the show. They have already shared the stage with Delta Rae, performed for President Barack Obama, and are frequent award winners. In 2013, Vocal Rush won the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival (LAAF) scholastic competition, beating even the best of the collegiate a cappella scene, and receiving a standing ovation for “River.” They are a two-time International Championship of High School A cappella (ICHSA) winner. Featured soloist Sarah Vela is expected to be heard from frequently this season. She won a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) for “Best High School Solo.” Most recently, Vocal Rush was named “Favorite High School Group” in what’s dubbed the People’s Choice Awards of a cappella, the A Cappella Community Awards (ACAs).

After naming Pentatonix the winner in 2011, The Sing-Off went on hiatus. Since then, Pentatonix, or as their fans often call them, PTX, has become one of the most popular groups in vocal music, and a legitimate social media sensation. At the same time, the a cappella movie “Pitch Perfect” defied expectations, broke box office records and will have a sequel. The International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), on which “Pitch Perfect” was based, went on sell out shows coast-to-coast.

NBC tells CASA that The Sing-Off will follow the live penultimate episode of NBC’s number 1 show, “The Voice” on Dec. 16th, which is expected to goose ratings even higher this season.

Visit the official show site for the latest The Sing-Off news, videos, and photos, like on Facebook, follow on Twitter, circle on Google+ or search the hashtags #SingOff and #TheSingOff.

[UPDATE: NBC tells CASA that this video was removed after a few hours due to licensing concerns.]