November 27, 2013 9:01am PT by Ashley Lee
'The Sing-Off': Country Goes A Cappella With Home Free (Exclusive Video)
As country music has risen to the top of American Idol, The X-Factor and The Voice, the genre has inevitably arrived at NBC's revived a cappella competition The Sing-Off. As the show returns to NBC after nearly two years off the air, The Sing-Off is featuring a country a cappella group for the first time.
Home Free is an all-male group from Minneapolis who tours the nation performing at everything from corporate gigs and cruise ships to public school assemblies and charity events. They tout the same member makeup that worked for Sing-Off season three champions Pentatonix -- a harmonizing trio, plus what judge Shawn Stockman calls the "meat and potatoes" section of beats and bass.
In this exclusive video, the group debuts with a cover of Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" -- not the original, but the revamped version featuring Nelly. To everyone's surprise, they take his verse down a few octaves while still keeping the energy up on the lighthearted song.
"I was really hopeful to have a country a cappella group this year," said Jewel at a press conference of including the genre. "Glad to see that."
Home Free -- consisting of Austin Brown, Rob Lundquist, Chris Rupp, Tim Foust and Adam Rupp -- has already recorded studio albums featuring country hits like Rascal Flatt's "Life Is a Highway." But they're not afraid to venture beyond their signature sound, as they've also recorded classics like "Can't Help Fallin' in Love" and "Under the Boardwalk" and even performed their own rendition of Baauer's viral "Harlem Shake."
Watch the full performance above. Season four of The Sing-Off begins with a two-hour premiere on Dec. 9 at 9 p.m. on NBC.