Minnesota vocal group impresses judges in 'Sing Off' debut

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This time it's a group of Minnesota singers – not individual ones – impressing big-shot music judges on the national TV stage.

The Star Tribune says the country a cappella group Home Free knocked out the show's judges on the premiere episode of the new NBC-TV singing competition "The Sing Off" Tuesday night.

The group, which is originally from Mankato and now based in Minneapolis, sang the Florida Georgia Line song "Cruise."

The paper said "Sing Off" judge Ben Folds was especially taken by Home Free singer Tim Foust's deep vocals, saying it left with him with a feeling of a "bass in my butt."

TV blog Zap2it said Home Free may be the world's first country music-themed a cappella group.

"Other groups have performed country songs in their shows, but there's never been a group that takes on the whole image of country and the whole show is country," group founder Adam Rupp told Zap2it.

Home Free is among the 10 a cappella groups vying for the top prize on the show, which is a $100,000 recording contract with Sony.

"The Sing Off" airs again Wednesday night on NBC.

Meanwhile, Home Free will be performing several dates in Minnesota this month, including a show Saturday at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.

Three Minnesota singers have already competed in network TV singing competitions this fall.

Minneapolis’ Holly Henry and St. Paul’s Ashley DuBose competed but were eliminated on NBC's "The Voice" in October; while Winona's Tim Olstad advanced to the top 10 on FOX’s “The X-Factor,” but was eliminated last month.

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