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UPDATE: The West Coast pushed both Shameia Crawford and Megan Tibbets past the 70% threshold. I figured viewers on the west coast would vote yes just to feel as if they could influence the proceedings. Still think the producers manipulated the vote a little for the east coast (keeping the vote percentage just under 70%) on those two in order to coax west coasters into watching.
It’s week 2 of Rising Star. Twelve more acts will perform for your INSTANT votes. If you don’t have the app, you can download it HERE.
IF YOU CHECK IN AND DON’T VOTE IT COUNTS AS A NO.
We’re live blogging right here.
In this competition, if a singer has a shaky start, it could do them in, because the audience can vote no at any time. Unlike other competitions, it’s very important to start off on a high note. Honestly, If I don’t like somebody in the first 10 seconds I vote no.
The best performers tonight were Austin French, Will Roth and Adam Jaymes. I really liked Egypt Dixon too, but she made a foolish choice to rap in a singing competition. I only voted yes for Adam and Egypt, mostly as a protest for the poor talent being presented overall. This show is a real disappointment. I am pretty happy it will drop down to an hour after next week. Let’s try to get through the one and only season of Rising Star together, shall we?
By the way, I smell a rat. What a coincidence that TWO of tonight’s performers came super close to the 70% mark. Shameia Crawford and Megan Tibbets scored 69% and 68% respectively. If the west coast scores more than 70%, they’re in. One of the biggest criticisms of the show last week was how the west coast was effectively left out of the voting process, as it airs 3 hours later in the time zone. I can’t help but think the producers rigged it a little this week to throw them a bone.
With 12 contestants, the pacing was MUCH MUCH better than last week. Less chit chat (the judges continue to be duds and chemistry free) and more singing. Yay. Too bad the performances were still lackluster. Maybe a few of these contestants can have break out performances later on in the competition. But will anybody be watching? There’s a reason why the first Idol and The Voice episodes are carefully edited. Because they are so carefully crafted, they are the highest rated of the season and serve to hook people into the competition. These live performances on Rising Star are hit and miss. Well, mostly misses. And if the audience isn’t engaged right away, it doesn’t matter what happens later.
Last week’s safe contestants are in the audience! More contestants this week hopefully means less yakity yak from Josh and the “experts.”
Shameia Crawford, 30, Lithonia, GA – “We Are Young” – She’s a background singer. She and her husband are having a tough time keeping themselves financially afloat. She feels at a crossroads. It’s either now, or she’ll be a background singer forever. It’s an interesting song choice. I might vote for her for that reason alone. But her vocal chops are just so so. There’s not much dynamic range, or power in her performance. I’m voting no. Brad, Kesha and Ludacris all vote yes. But she only makes it to 69%. I wonder if they’re fudging in order to throw a bone to the West coast. Hm. I SMELL A SET UP. Ludacris is confused (Really? She was mediocre) Kesha is sure the west coast will save her. Brad says she brought it. He thinks her start was rough and that’s what did her in. “This is what the west coast is for. Rigggghhhht. Eliminated at 69%
April Lockhart, 18, Warren, NJ – “Say You’ll Be There” – She was into punk rock when she was younger. She lost her hand in vitro when mom’s umbilical cord got wrapped around it. Nevertheless, she learned to play the guitar. She wears a prosthetic beak thingy on her right arm that allows her to strum. She’s got that indie vibe going in spades. She’s pretty good, actually. Nothing super special, but pleasant. I may vote no for everyone except for the standouts this week. She’s a little pitch-impaired in spots, so no go for me. The experts all vote yes. She’s up to 85% by the end of her performance. Kesha says she plays guitar way better than her (does she even play?) She’s moved by her story. Brad says he will never complain again about his playing. Also, she brought it. She’s adorable and has presence. He thinks she’s a role model. Ludacris admits that she needs work, but admires her perseverance. Advances at 85%
Austin French, 20, Tifton, GA – Georgia On My Mind - Worship leader loves music! He feels the most personal when he gets to share his gift. He’s ENGAGED to somebody he met at church. Oy. It’s probably the only way she’ll…oh never mind. You know what I mean. White Guy With Guitar! And he loves mama and Jesus. AND HE’S FROM GEORGIA. I think we’ve found our winner. Kidding aside, he’s actually a good. Very soulful. I bet he scores in the 90s. Ludacris, Kesha and Brad all vote yes. He ends at 87%. Not quite as high as I thought he would, but still, not too shabby. Ludacris admires that he went for the runs, even if they were a little shaky. Brad was a little late putting in his vote. He waited for him to really bring it. Kesha was also waiting for the notes, and is happy that he nailed them. Advances at 87%
Josh promises an “all girl threesome” after the break. “They made me say that,” he adds, a little embarrassed (As he should be).
Oh, the next stage of competition will feature “head to head” duels. Sounds like The Voice battle rounds.
Trinitii (group ages 19-30, Sacramento, CA – “Problem” – Two are teens, one is 30 years old. They teach music to kids. Josh, continuing to mentor the contestants, advises that the girls have a laser like focus on their performance. Hm. Maybe they’re a little sloppy in rehearsal. I can already tell I’m going to vote no. Damn. Missed check in! I DEFINITELY would have voted no. LOL at the stank face on April Lockhart’s face as she watches. Nineties girl group retro dealio. And yes. They are VERY sloppy with pitch problems galore. Brad and Ludacris vote no. Kesha votes yes. They finish with 30%. Brad thinks group singing is hard and they needed to be perfect. The choreography and harmonies were not. Kesha loves their Destiny’s Child vibe. She thinks they are diamonds in the rough. Ludacris loves the shoes and boots, but they need more work with the harmonies. Kesha wasn’t impressed with the rapping. Nope, it was all pretty terrible! The rapping was off, but so were the harmonies. – Eliminated at 30%
Alice J. Lee, 25, Chicago, IL – “You & I” – She got her start in Broadway’s “Spring Awakening.” Her parents are from Korea. Her dad is a singer. She was brought up on K Pop. She’s sure she’ll feel the energy from the people beyond the wall. She’s very put together, professional, experienced. Her voice is good, but a little theatrical for pop. Kinda waiting for her to let loose. Eh. I’m voting no. I’m bored. She’s pitchy too. These contestants are astonishingly charisma free. Kesha, Ludacris vote yes and put her over the edge at 73%. Brad voted no. Ludacris was skeptical. He thinks she’s too Broadway for pop, but he liked her strength. He wants to see what she can do. Brad felt the Broadway style didn’t do the bluesy song justice. Kesha loves her shoes. She was a little pitchy, but the runs were on point. Advances at 73%
Rye Davis, 25, Pig, Kentucky – “When You Say Nothing at All” – He’s a cattle farmer. During a college baseball game, he was blinded in one eye after being hit with a ball. He went back to playing, but he missed out on the majors anyway. Then, he turned to singing. He’s got the Josh Turner thing going, with a pleasant tone. A few pitch problems, but not bad. Not great, though. So I’m voting no. Ohh all three judges vote no. He tops out at 45%. He was pretty pitchy in the end, despite having a nice tone. Brad thought it was just too pitchy. He compared him to Alan Jackson. But he’s not there yet. He tells him not to give up. Kesha wants to cuddle him. Ludacris says “It’s just better that I say nothing at all.” Kesha says “YOU’RE SO MEAN.” But true. Eliminated at 45%
Sonnet Simmons, 34, LA, CA – Wicked Game – She was born in Greece, but moved back to US when she was young. They lived abroad because her mom was in a cult. Yeesh. The mom left her husband and two sons back in the cult in Greece and settled in LA. Hm. Her vocal style is very affected. I’m not in love with her phrasing. She picks up some steam as the performance progresses, but then MAJORLY MAJORLY misses a couple of big notes. All 3 experts vote yes for her. She ends up at 81%. Sorry, I thought she was another shaky singer. Kesha compares her to Stevie Nicks (!!!). Kesha wants to start a cult. Maybe for nice people. Ludacris thought it was an interesting song choice. He liked her courage and wants to hear more. Brad thought her voice was unique. Advances at 81%.
Deedra Ervin, 20, Belle Haven, VA – “Anything Could Happen” – She was in the military, then came back to a small town to work on a fishing boat. In the meantime, her family home burned down. They lost everything, but are still supporting her. She’s dressed in her military blues, which is kind of weird. Really pitchy. She’s nervous. Her tone is super unpleasant. Nobody in the audience can hold back their stank faces. Her mother looks horrified. All 3 experts vote no. Needless to say, so did I. She tops out at an embarrassing 26%. She totally fell apart up there. Josh thanks her for her service. She begins to cry. This is really sad. Ludacris loved her passion, he was pulling for it, but she didn’t come through. Kesha loved her energy and tone, but she needed to get over her nerves. Brad also wanted to vote yes, but the pitch was way too off. Josh pledges to help her and her family get their life back. Eliminated at 26%.
Will Roth, Watauga, TX – Sweater Weather - He’s a Vet Technician. He LOVES animals. At night, he works as a private investigator. When does he have time to sing? Super whiny voice, but at least he sings in tune! Once again. KIND OF BORED HERE. Waiting for the song to kick in. Have to say, though, he’s one of the better singers of the night. All 3 experts say yes. Voting on a curve, he deserves it. I would have picked a different song, but I think he has potential. He ends at 83%. Kesha LOVES HIS BIG BEARD. She’s also an animal lover. Doesn’t hurt that he can sing. Ludacris loved his last run. Brad asks where his confidence comes from. Advances at 83%
Josh says there have already been 3 million votes. Killing time with lame jokes! Whoo hoo. Ludacris makes fun of Josh’s socks.
Egypt Dixon, 18, Texarkana, TX – “Fancy” by Iggy Azelea – She doesn’t want to get trapped in her small town. The family struggled through hard financial times. Josh is worried it’s not enough of a song. She has to bring swagger. Hm. She’s pretty good, but this is NOT singing competition material, cause, she isn’t exactly singing. But, she is actually one of the better contestants tonight. I’m gonna vote yes. So there. Oh. Ludacris and Brad voted no. Kesha voted yes. That last note was problematic, but I thought she did well with the material she chose. Kesha thought it was the wrong song, but liked her. Ludacris also voted no. He thought she should have sung more too. Brad respects her, but agrees with the rest. That was just dumb. She was a solid hip hop performer. They all should have voted yes. Eliminated at 44%
Adam Jaymes, 24, Palmdale, CA – I Won’t Give Up – Music was a gift that his Dad helped give him…wait for it. Of course he died–in a car accident last year. The last words he ever spoke to him were “Son, I’m proud of you.” He carries on in his name. Oy. These backstories. I’m feeling cynical now. He’s a WGWG. But no guitar. He’s one of the first performers tonight to bring some real emotion and passion to the stage. He’s got a very nice tone and nice phrasing. He’s navigating the tricky word play pretty well. OK. I voted yes for this one. He’s not perfect, but he sings with conviction. He ends at 87%. All 3 judges say yes. Brad relates to his story. He appreciated his vulnerability. He should never lose that. He and Kesha both see Timberlake in him. She calls his voice amazing. Ludacris was close to voting no because he thought some of the runs were off. But his commitment to the performance changed his vote. – Advances at 87%
Megan Tibbits, 26, Caro, MI – “All of Me” – She was in a family band growing up. They toured churches. She lives in LA now as a working musician. She plays the harp. Josh warns her not to be tentative, or the audience won’t buy it. Eh. The harp is a gimmick. It’s actually a little distracting. I’m judging this purely on her vocals. And they ARE tentative and pitchy and deteriorate through the performance. She finishes at 68%. Welp. Another bone thrown to the west coast! Funny the first and last performer was close. Josh reminds Ludacris that his no vote did her in. He thought the harp playing was great, the singing not so much. Kesha relates to her story and loved her voice. NO TIME FOR BRAD! He voted yes. Eliminated at 68%
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