Welcome to day 16! In order to progress onto day 17, you will have to complete 5 unique challenges! Good luck…
Can you crack the code to reveal today’s topic?
L _ a v _ n g N o _ f _ _k
Did you get it? Give yourself a big ol’ pat on the back if you did, because you just won your first BlogPoint! Being by far the nicest hotel we’d stayed in so far, departing from the Hilton was a sad affair, but it was sunny, and we were loaded with snacks from the show the day before (if you’d thought we’d had enough of Doritos and Reece’s, think again). Thus, we hit the road with a degree of optimism. The first order of BUSiness? Recording a good luck message for The Rolling Tones ahead of the ICCA final in New York!
Can you name three a cappella groups who competed in the ICCA UK Semi-Final? If you can, then congratulations friend – you just bagged yourself another BlogPoint!
Now I’m not going to beat around the bush here alright – this blog IS entirely focused around a 9 hour bus journey. BUT, trust me when I say we had some great events along the way. For example, we travelled over the gorgeous, 23 mile-long Chesapeake Bay Bridge! As went through its intermittent tunnels, we tried to see who could hold their breath the longest – I’d offer a BlogPoint for a correct guess as to who won, but if there’s ever a competition to be had, one can be assured that Sam Harper will keep at it until he wins. Crossing the bridge was beautiful, and we even had dolphins jumping out of the ocean on either side of us.
Can you hold your breath for a minute? The extra BlogPoint and accompanying headrush will help you enjoy the blog, I promise…
Next up: lunch. The group split into three sub-groups: sushi, Mexican, and McDonalds. And you know what that means… it’s time for Challenge 4!
Here are three members of Semi-Toned. Can you link them up with where you think they had lunch?
Chad St Louis
That’s a BlogPoint for you, buddy. After lunch, we reconvened at the bus for the inevitable politely-competitive conversation about whose meal was the nicest. It sure wasn’t the Mexican, I can tell you that much.
When we finally reached Scranton at 10PM, it was snowing. SNOWING. Having started off in 30 degree heat down in Miami, cracking open the bus door to a brisk zero was somewhat of a shock (to say the least). Regardless, after checking in, we managed to triangulate the position of a nearby chain burger restaurant…
Can you find the name of the restaurant amongst these scrambled letters?
Would you look at that… you, dear reader, are the proud owner of yet another BlogPoint! For those quick-witted enough to have found the name, I want to personally and wholeheartedly recommend the Beyond Burger. Greg, Tommy and I all had it, and it was insane – it’s a plant-based vegan burger that tastes meatier than any others I’ve had before, and it even has a red tinge to make it that bit more convincing. Next time you’re out having dinner with friends/fam, TRUST me, try it. Oh, and if you’re wondering whether this section of the blog is vegan propaganda, you’d be right, because it absolutely is. Do your research folks.
On a separate note, once we were at the restaurant, we came upon quite the discovery. Following our free educational outreach shows at Norfolk Academy on Tuesday 17th, one particularly enthusiastic member of the audience had taken it upon themselves to create a Semi-Toned fanpage on Instagram. Now we just need a catchy hashtag for our fans to use… something quintessentially British… #queendom?
After dinner we made our way back to the hotel. Some of us hung out in the pool and played some games (during which Sam smacked his head on the side, resulting in a lump the following day), and the rest of us headed up to bed. All in all it was a long day, but, as ever, we managed to make the best of it.
Time to tot up your BlogPoints folks! You can find the answers to the challenges below:
1: Leaving Norfolk
2: Any three of the following: The Bristol Suspensions, The Accidentals, The Songsmiths, Pitch Fight, Academy A Cappella, The Other Guys, The Rolling Tones, The Northern Lights, The Oxford Alternotives
3: Did you manage to hold your breath?
4: Jacob Storey: McDonalds, Max Weeden: Mexican, Chad St. Louis: Sushi
5: TGI Friday’s
Still recovering from the longest journey of tour the previous day, the group passed the morning very quietly, some members only leaving the hotel in search of a slightly more appetizing breakfast than that which was on offer there. Feeling well restored, we piled into the bus to get to the next venue. I couldn’t wait to perform again – we had had 2 wonderfully lazy days but I, along with many others, were itching to don our blazers again. The theatre was fantastic, with a comfy green room, long corridors and lots of space.
Now we are in Scranton, PA, which is where The Office US is set, this is the perfect opportunity for budding directors Ryan and Greg to fulfil their vision that had been materialising over the last few days: Semi-Toned’s own version of ‘The Office’. Keep up to date with our social media for further news on this!
After soundcheck, we decided to amble into Scranton in search of supper, the lady in charge of the theatre wishing us good luck as we left, which was slightly unnerving to say the least. North Scranton was a little reminiscent of a certain song in our set by The Specials, as we barely saw any of its inhabitants!
Deciding that delivery was a better course of action, we made our way back to the theatre and ordered pizza. This was mostly delicious, however the unhappy few who ordered the ‘Sicilian’ received a rectangular, thicker and rather greasier delicacy, inducing some pre-show queasiness.
The show went down a treat however, and we were lucky to have our show opened by the brilliant Voices of the Valley, a 27-strong school a cappella choir. We even managed to grab a few photos with them afterwards!
We retired to the hotel very drained indeed, and, excepting a few members of the group who were keen for a swim, we gratefully collapsed into our beds. Only two shows to go, followed by some time off in NYC!