One week before auditioning for "The Sing-Off," eight female singers got together in Los Angeles to see if they could whip together an act.
All of the women knew the talent level expected to make it on NBC's a cappella talent show, because they were all previous contestants from either Season 1 or 2.
Singing under the name Delilah, they wowed producers and were chosen with 15 other ensembles to compete for the title of best a cappella group in the country and a record deal.
The octet makes its debut when Season 3 of "The Sing-Off" premieres Monday night on NBC.
Local viewers may recognize brunette Candace Whittington, who sang with Voices of Lee when the Lee University ensemble competed in Season 1 of "The Sing-Off."
- Hometown: Mentone, Ala.
- Parents: Rick and Carol Fuller of Mentone.
- Age: 29.
- Education: Bachelor's degree in health science, fitness and wellness from Lee University.
- Favorite music: Pop, R&B and contemporary country.
- Sang with Voices of Lee: 2004-2007, performed with Voices of Lee on first season of "The Sing-Off."
Season 3 of "The Sing-Off" launches Monday at 8 p.m. on NBC.
THE 'SING-OFF' CONTESTANTS
- Afro-Blue: From Howard University
- The Cat's Pajamas: All-male group from Branson, Mo.
- The Collective: Nashville troupe formed by Season 2 contestant Jeremy Lister of Street Corner Symphony
- Dartmouth Aires: 15 guys from the Ivy League school
- Delilah: All females from the first two "Sing-Off" seasons
- The Deltones: From University of Delaware
- Fannin Family: Octet of relatives from the Midwest
- Kinfolk 9: Professional group out of Los Angeles
- Messiah's Men: Liberian refugees
- North Shore: Boston-based street-corner ensemble
- Pentatonix: From Arlington, Texas
- Sonos: Professional a cappella group that has previously collaborated with Sara Bareilles
- Soul'd Out: High school club from Wilsonville, Ore.
- Urban Method: From Denver
- Vocal Point: All-male ensemble from Brigham Young University
- The Yellow Jackets: University of Rochester crew known for wearing yellow blazers
"There are more contestants this year, twice the size of Season 1 when Voices of Lee was on. Now we have 16 groups," said Whittington in a telephone interview from LA.
And that's not the only change.
The stage has a new set to accommodate the increased number of singers, and Sara Bareilles has taken Nicole Scherzinger's seat at the judge's table with Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman.
Whittington said she has remained close to Voices of Lee director Danny Murray since moving to LA, frequently texting him for advice.
Murray said Whittington learned to polish her sound and perfect her intonation while singing with Voices of Lee.
"Candace has always had a heartfelt, natural, God-given charisma as a soloist. She sings and moves onstage with a contagious energy, which draws the camera to her," said her mentor.
Q: Who formed Delilah, and how were its members selected?
A: Two of our members, Hannah Juliano and Amy Whitcomb, got together and talked about doing an all-girl group. It was a whim, an idea we were kind of surprised happened.
Q: Besides you, Hannah and Amy, who are the other members of Delilah?
A: Johanna Vinson, our bass; Ingrid Andress, Laina Walker, Kendall Young and Geena Glaser, our vocal percussionist.
Q: What type of music do you perform?
A: The song you'll hear us sing Monday is the song we used to audition. We tend to go for a soulful, R&B sound. When we're picking a song, we usually put that kind of touch on it -- or an edgy, rock, girl sound.
Q: How did you choose the group's name?
A: That was the hardest part. We came up with Delilah out of desperation. We tossed around so many names trying to decide. We even went to the MAC makeup line because its eye shadows have really hilarious names. Delilah's grown on us since we picked it.
Q: What were the judges' reactions the first time they saw your group and realized you were all previous contestants?
A: They were very welcoming. They recognized that, yeah, we were on the show before. They were excited. Of course, Sara is new, so everyone is new to her.
Q: What experience do you bring to the contest this season that you learned the first time around?
A: Season 1 was such a huge learning experience for Voices of Lee because things were done so differently from what Voices of Lee did.
I've never been in an all-girl group, and the eight of us have never sung together. Every time we sing, we try to evolve into what we think Delilah is.
As far as being onstage, the nerves are definitely still there, but we're a little more relaxed because we've done this before. We can channel our nervous energy into singing our best.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...