Portland’s Michael Odokara-Okigbo went on NBC’s “The Sing-Off” earlier this year hoping to do well and have fun.

But the experience of competing against some of the nation’s best singers on TV convinced him he needed to pursue his dream of a music career.

After turning in another standout performance Monday night, Odokara-Okigbo is now just two weeks away from making his dream come true.

Odokara-Okigbo and his a cappella group, the Dartmouth Aires, are now one of just four groups left vying for the grand prize of $200,000 in cash and a Sony Music recording contract.

The show’s season began in September with 16 all-vocal singing groups. The winner will be announced on the live final episode on Nov. 28.

Odokara-Okigbo, a graduate of Waynflete School in Portland and a former member of the Boy Singers of Maine, is currently a senior at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.

And he and his group are serious about winning.

“There has never been an all-male collegiate group to win this, and we want to be the first,” Odokara-Okigbo said into the camera near the beginning of Monday’s episode.

For their first song of the night, the Dartmouth Aires performed the contemporary R&B hit “Ignition (Remix)” by R. Kelly. Odokara-Okigbo sang one of the leads on the song, and before going on he admitted on camera that the group’s harmonies “weren’t clicking” during rehearsals.

But when it came time to do the song for the judges, the group pulled it together for an energetic performance.

“I don’t even know what just happened, but I really enjoyed it,” said singer Sara Bareilles, one of the judges.

On the second song of the night, the five remaining groups were required to sing a classic R&B tune. The Dartmouth Aires picked “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & The Pips, with Odokara-Okigbo trying to fill Knight’s shoes.

He had to change the lyrics to “she’s leaving” instead of “he’s leaving” and he had to find a way to make the classic his own.

And as he has done for most of the two months the show has been airing, Odokara-Okigbo came through.

“You have got such a timeless style, Michael,” said singer Ben Folds, another judge. But he also said the group had some pitch problems at times.

The third judge, Shawn Stockman of the group “Boyz II Men,” said Odokara-Okigbo knew when to “hold the song close to yourself” and when to “share it with everyone else.” Bareilles called Odokara-Okigbo a “delight to listen to.”

But she said she wished the group’s vocal performance had more “dynamics” in it.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: [email protected]