We start at University of Maryland (UMD) with the Faux Paz who are still backstage celebrating their semifinal win. Lynique is so hyped. Her family comes backstage to congratulate them. And to take Lynique back with them so she can go to church with them in the morning. Josh is still sounding hoarse, but is so grateful his vocal issues didn't cost them a shot at finals.
At the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) Craig from the Hexachords is excited about their win, but tells the group they were only 7 points ahead of Distilled Harmony and 11 points ahead of fellow UMass group S#arp Attitude. So he thinks big changes are called for because semifinals will be tougher. He wants to cut "So Emotional" and "Roller Coaster". Brandon immediately jumps in that he thinks "Rollercoaster" (where he has a solo) could be amped up with further tweaking. Craig tells the camera that Brandon's transitions to falsetto were not consistent. He tells the group that Katie is there strongest soloist and he wants to start the set with her. Linnea - half joking - says guess we know who Craig's favorite is. He responds, not seeming to be joking, it's Katie. Katie looks a little uncomfortable. I think she's fine being the strongest soloist, but a little more aware of the tension. None of this seems like group breaking tension, they are just adjusting quickly to a lot of change.
Craig wants to lead the set with "Expensive." Brandon doesn't think "Expensive" is competition ready. Craig says with this size group he wants to feature everyone so wants to give song to Linnea. Craig seems to be working on a Brandon got a solo for quarters, so Linnea gets one for semis, which is an interesting tactic. It's certainly the kind of thinking that would really only be feasible with a very small group. Linnea notes big deal to solo. Katie realizes that this means new choreography. Craig does say that they can run back through the song in rehearsal and revisit later.
Taryn has taken a few of the S#arps to the lake for a retreat. Sam is less than thrilled that this involves boating - so sits in the middle while Archie and Taryn paddle the canoe. Melinda joins them post boating. Taryn has a surprise for Archie since Archie will be the new music director - it's a big binder of all their arrangements. Archie thanks her. Archie is embarrassed about her post-loss meltdown, but Taryn says it shows her passion. Sam says she knows the group is in good hands.
Sam tells them she was "in nature" all day so now wants a drinking game. And she has brought a Pin the Junk on the Hunk game. They are all happy drunk.
The Hexachords are running through whole set for the first time. Sam shows up to help them with their choreography as promised. Sam teaches them to tooch. She is particularly encouraging them to bring the sexy with this new set. Sam tells them she thinks if they bring it, they will win, and her opinion matters most.
Later that evening the S#arps are gathering for Sam's birthday. She tells them that the Hexachords have changed up everything. Archie brings a Happy Birthday Aca-bitch cake.
In rehearsal for the Hexachords, Craig is nervous. Linnea isn't yet, but says she will be. Craig tells the camera he has to be fearless for the group.
And we're in Boston for the semifinals, so a shorter trip this time. Katie notes that all the other groups are big. And it's a big hall. Craig and Matt have not arrived. Katie, Brandon, Xander, and Linnea are there, joking about being Hexachords not quadsichords. Katie tries to call but Craig and Matt do make it before things start.
Linnea climbs into the stage - to the horror of the emcee who explains she would like them to use the steps. It's time for performance order picking. Linnea picks 3rd. They show us all the other groups picking which was different but it turns out the ten was missing from the bag. To everyone's apparent horror, they now have to redraw. Linnea draws 9th.
Distilled Harmony is going 6th- ie the beginning of second half.
Linnea decided a new outfit would help her bring the sexy-so has a corset top and shorts. The group approves.
S#arps Melinda, Taryn, Archie, Sam, are here to cheer them on.
We see snippets of:
Northeastern University's Distilled Harmony singing Vance Joy's "The Fire and the Flood"
Northeastern University's Unisons singing Demi Lovato's ''Confident"
Boston University's The Bostones singing Ella Eyre's "If I Go"
Craig says this could be their last ICCA.
The Hexachords go onstage, and again this performance is broken up with talking heads and voiceovers. Katie has a powerhouse of a solo on Tori Kelly's "Expensive" and Brandon, as he was promised, gets a featured moment. Linnea brings a smoky alto to Nina Simone's ''Feeling Good". It is again really hard to tell through my TV, but they don't sound like just six people. Also, although Brandon's high tenor is probably helping with this, they don't sound like four guys and two gals, the sound is very balanced. The crowd seems incredibly responsive to their set.
Offstage Brandon says it was so much fun. Linnea doesn't know how to feel. Linnea tells them that after quarters she was sure they had won and this time she doesn't know.
We stop in at UMD where the Faux Paz are having a Jenga Truth or Dare game to bond before finals. Mitul keeps pulling blocks that say "Take a shot and pull another block." There is a disclaimer for underage participants, who are passing their drinking challenges to Mitul. Mitul feels they are picking on him.
And we're back with the Hexachords because the results are in.
3rd - the Hexachords
2nd - Distilled Harmony
1st - The Bostones
Craig sorry they won't go to finals. Brandon is sad. Linnea says 3rd is still really good. They are sad, but trying to focus on how great it went. They gather in a group hug. They thank Craig. He tells them he does it for them. Katie (who is shorter) breaks up the group hug noting there are so many smells.
The S#arps come back to congratulate them. Melinda says their sound was amazing and it was great for the greater community to hear it.
Craig is pondering going pro - a la Pentatonix.
Next week is finals. And while the Hexachords would be eligible for the wild card round, as you may suspect since we have only one episode left, they are not our wild card winners. But, viewers from last year may be happy to see that the winner is FSU's All Night Yahtzee. So perhaps we will get a glimpse of them next week.