Rising Star – Week 2 – Live Blog and Videos

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%

  • Guest

    Anyone have the live stream link again? Thanking you in advance

  • forever504

    if this show doesn’t pick up this week i’m out

  • gomer0

    No. that means she has 48% of the vote. NO!

  • nekola

    I voted Yes for her but that was not good song choice.

  • carola99

    I think she has potential but the song choice was not good for her. That was the problem. Hopefully the West Coast will save her to see what else she can do.

  • Karen C

    Ludicris, it doesn’t matter how many people are using the app since it is a percentage that votes anyway.

  • carola99

    This girl April is really good.

  • forever504

    is anyone else’s app still stuck on the first singer like mine

  • carola99

    Mine was and then it cleared up.

  • Karen C

    I noticed they aren’t showing the percentages as much on tv like they were doing last week.

  • Karen C

    April Lockhart really looks and sounds like Jena Irene.

  • Kimmy Moores

    Just chimed in..hows the show looking so far in terms of flow, presence, etc?

  • Kimmy Moores

    Can we stop with this song? (Yes, I decided to use this app) >.>

  • Guest

    No commercial? Wow

  • Kimmy Moores

    *yawn* pass

  • Guest

    April is on right?

  • Guest

    This is April right?

  • Kimmy Moores

    Austin French singing Georgia on My Mind

  • Kimmy Moores

    Live battles? This sounds like…idek LOL

  • Kimmy Moores

    19, 19, 30?
    What the hell?

  • Kimmy Moores

    This is a head voice nitemare.

  • Amy Beth

    Can I vote no 3 times?

  • nekola

    That was a hot mess.

  • Kimmy Moores

    “Giving me Destiny’s Child”
    Nope, Kesha has officially talked her way to the guillotine.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Just tuned into this show for the first time now. I think that I have reality singing competition show fatigue, but it’s hard for me to get enthused about the format of this show. I like Josh as a singer, but he’s just OK as a host (I think that I’m being kind because I like him). lol I wouldn’t have recognized Kesha, either in appearance or voice.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    What percentage do they need to get to go through?

  • Amy Beth

    I know Kesha needed rehab, but I feel like she got rehabbed out of all her edginess.

  • carola99

    70%

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Thanks! So now I see why Josh was “heartbroken” over the first gal not getting through.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    She’s very “Valley Girl”. lol

  • Amy Beth

    70%. And each “expert” gets a super vote worth 7%.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “Expert”? lol

  • Guest

    who’s next?

  • Kimmy Moores

    Can’t say I like the whole “You have to check in” thing, but it makes sense. Can’t have a _%/100% vote if all of America can vote whenever

  • Kimmy Moores

    Broadway singer Alice J. Lee singing “You and I”

  • Kimmy Moores

    Know what? Imma say yes to her.

  • Goodvibes27

    I feel all the contestants on this show are bland and “TV approved”. I can’t get into any of them.

  • Kimmy Moores

    I’m just bothered by how none of them have really taken ownership of a song.
    You’re on a live TV, nobody wants to hear the same song sung the same way for the 400th time. I’m so disinterested with these singers cause they’re just so bland.

  • chillj

    Amazing.

  • chillj

    You are being kind. He keeps cracking dirty jokes that aren’t funny.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    So why is Josh so manic? He’s talking a mile a minute and behaves like he drank too many Red Bulls. lol

  • Karen C

    I think so too. I like when they seem more original.

  • Kimmy Moores

    Oh good heavens. No x10000000.
    He’s got that country voice that commands my body to sleep and he just is not that special

  • Guest

    That’s fuk… Alice Lee made it because of the so called experts.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Yeah, Josh is disappointing me as a host. He tried very hard to get the co-host job with Kelly Ripa, so for some reason he wants to be a host of some sort. He seems like a nice guy, but he also seems very nervous.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Brad is comparing this guy to Alan Jackson? Does Brad want to lose his credibilty on this show? lol

  • Karen C

    Josh is still very awkward. Judges are too.

  • Kimmy Moores

    It’s official.
    I L-O-V-E Luda as an “expert” or whatever they are on this show. LOL

  • chillj

    He sort of says too much. Silence has value.

  • Kimmy Moores

    The judges (sans Luda) all give off this “I only agreed to this cause the pay was nice, not cause I enjoy it) feel.
    Josh is just not that good at hosting from the looks of it.
    Luda needs to take his commentary to either AI or The Voice, I’m loving him.

  • Guest

    I’m watching on live stream but it’s one singer behind…lol But it beats watching it at 9:00pm on the west coast.

  • chillj

    the guy started off well, nice tone, but he just couldn’t stay on pitch to save his life.

  • chillj

    The other judges may be making Lud look good. He is the best of the three: he has an opinion he isn’t afraid of sharing.

  • Kimmy Moores

    He’ll give you the professional and unprofessional ugly truth. I dig it.

  • Guest

    Who is on right now?

  • Kimmy Moores

    Sonnet Simmons with “Wicked Game”

  • Guest

    Yeah, I’m watching Sonnet too. did you vote yes or no?

  • Kimmy Moores

    I liked it. Wasn’t perfect, but there was a really..je ne sais quoi about the tone of her voice.

  • Kimmy Moores

    I gave her a yes.

  • Guest

    Yes for me too.

  • onlooker
  • chillj

    I thought she was the best of the night although there were moments I was afraid she would lose the thread of the song.

  • Amy Beth

    OK this show beats the other shows for weird back stories. One-handed guitarists, escaping from cults!

    And then there’s prim, proper Mrs. Lee with her purse on the couch.

  • chillj

    Something is fishy about the voting. These people all look like they are going down and then the judges kick in at the last minute giving them enough to put them over. I don’t think America likes anyone, so the judges vote to make sure there will be contestants going forward..

  • Kimmy Moores

    Agreed, thought she was the best but also thought she was regularly treading on possibly ruining the song entirely.

  • Guest

    Who’s next?

  • Kimmy Moores

    They won the game with the whole “Escaped from the cult” thing alone.
    Now this girl just had her home burnt down. Well..

  • Kimmy Moores

    Deedra Erwin singing Anything Could Happen
    VA represent!

  • RCormier

    Josh Groban is a surprisingly good host. Sort of sad seeing him slumming like this. It would be like seeing Celine Dion on Idol. Josh has sold millions of records and can tour almost anywhere in the world. He does not need this show.

  • chillj

    Hate that clock ticking down. They need to get rid of it.

  • Guest

    Brad seems like he’s bored out of his mind..lol

  • chillj

    He may need fast cash. I don’t think this show will do much for either his or Kesha’s career though. I don’t think either of them are very good at this.

  • chillj

    Ew.

  • Guest

    NOOOOO

  • Kimmy Moores

    Wow…goodness I’ve never seen a performance be sooo karaoke in the history of televised singing competitions o.o

  • Guest

    Don’t cry :(

  • RCormier

    Kesha actually looks pretty good. She sounds coherent.

  • Kimmy Moores

    Oh..her tears..
    My heart D:

  • Guest

    It’s not the end, it’s only the beginning….

  • chillj

    Barely. but I’m not grading her appearance.

  • carola99

    Aww man. Poor girl. I wanted her to be good to vote yes and see her happy, but alas no…

  • Guest

    Iggy… fancy?

  • Guest

    Can we bring back Sing Your Face Off?

  • Goodvibes27

    This vet assistant guy is cute. I hope he can sing!

  • Kimmy Moores

    I’ll vote yes when he stops with that awkward forced growl of his.
    His slightly bothersome stare isn’t helping..

  • Guest

    Can we replace Kesha with Paulina Rubio?

  • Guest

    Did anyone see their face on the wall yet?

  • carola99

    I think the vet assistant guy is interesting. Not the best vocal but he has potential..

  • Amy Beth

    I would have voted for Will if he did a spoken-word version of the song. I loved his speaking voice. His singing voice, not so much.

  • Kimmy Moores

    Josh is so awkward…

  • JustJam

    So its been an hour now since the show started right?

  • Kimmy Moores

    and a half >.>

  • Kimmy Moores

    Wish someone would give me a dollar and 63 cent check. I’d stare at them like

  • Guest

    NOOOO

  • JustJam

    Hmm…a rapper is on the show. Let’s see how she’ll fare.

  • Kimmy Moores

    I don’t mind her being a rapper..
    Why “Fancy”? WHYYYYYYYYYY

  • Amy Beth

    Sorry girl. This song is an automatic no.

  • Kimmy Moores

    She took it up a notch…oh my Lord I can’t do this.

  • Karen C

    Egypt picked the wrong song tonight. I saw videos from the preview thread and she was so much better.

  • Guest

    Luda got it right again

  • JustJam

    Its very risky to do a song that’s recent and everyone knows.

  • albean99

    I’m not enjoying the singers tonight at all. The best I can say is I kind of liked a couple of them.

  • Kimmy Moores

    It’s very risky to do a rap song in general. It’s driven on lyricism and flow which are personal things p. much. I hate when people perform raps by others in general because it feels like a robbery.

  • Guest

    His dad passed away… he has my vote.

  • Kimmy Moores

    Am I wrong for feeling like he looks like Timberlake a bit?

  • Guest

    To me Timberlake and P2 combined?

  • Guest

    NOOO

  • Kimmy Moores

    He is speeding through this song >.>, but meh I’ll give him an upvote for the sake of it.

  • Karen C

    He’s making a song I think is boring boringer, if that’s a word.

  • Karen C

    Yeah, that’s how I feel too.

  • Amy Beth

    Adam has 3 dogs and oh yeah, a wife. Run, Mrs. Jaymes, run!

  • Amy Beth

    He got the highest percentage and he was bad, IMHO.

  • Karen C

    I noticed that, I don’t get it.

  • Guest

    NOOOO

  • Kimmy Moores

    I want her to go through just cause of that harp

  • Guest

    This show is rigged.

  • Karen C

    I thought Meghan had an interesting arrangement, a bit pitchy though.

  • Guest

    Maybe try AGT?

  • Karen C

    I wonder what they will do if the west coast does change the results for thoses that were close.

  • Amy Beth

    I think if the West Coast goes 70%, the singer gets through.

  • Guest

    We did it West Coast SAVED Shameia!

  • Guest

    West Coast SAVED Shameia with 71%

  • istersay

    West Coast also saved Megan Tibbits

  • Jae

    OK. Better than last week but I’m still iffy on this show. At least it seems that Kesha and Brad had a little coffee before the show. I think 2 hrs is too long. Also, as I suspected, it’s harder to get through with more people voting. I am pretty sure at least 2 people from last week wouldn’t have made it through this week.

  • Amy Beth

    So far, 22 performers, 14 made it and 8 got cut.

  • Listening

    How does this east coast west coast thing work? When the west coast sees the show for the contestants that have already made it through get a scrolling bar saying they’ve made it can’t vote for them or they just possibly get through twice?

    Oh and I think they manipulated the votes too in order to give west coast something to do. I also think they delay revealing votes to make a gradual increase and create suspense.

    But i’ll tell you I wasn’t impressed by anyone and didn’t care when Shameia and Megan didn’t make it through especially Megan since her vocals kept getting worse and worse as the song went on.

  • Listening

    The talent on this show is mediocre. I throw up in my mouth a little when I hear the judges rave about or give a standing ovation to people that or just okay. I’m like you can’t honestly think that was good or great you just know you have to act like they were or else your show is viewed as a dud.

    And the one girl I really liked Egypt gets a no. I know it’s because she was a rapper and reality shows aren’t usually a rapper’s crowd but come on. The judges voting no her vocals were strong better than if not all than nearly every contestant. At least she stayed in tune. I’m telling you if she had sung anything but a rap son she makes it through.

  • http://mjsbigblog.staging.wpengine.com/ mjsbigblog

    West coast can vote for every performance, even though it is not live. They get their own percentage bar. If an act almost made it via the East coast, but not quite, the west coast has the opportunity to push the act past the 70% threshold.

  • Guest

    I agree. IMO. I think the east coast voters sent both Shameia Crawford and Megan Tibbets through, but the producers intentionally kept it just under 70%, so us west coast voters feel we have a voice. Also, if the so called ‘experts’ have NO voting power at all, none of these acts would of have gone through? So just the voters or judges at home feel all these performances are just mediocre not worth sending to the next round. Yeah we have the power, what a sham and joke. Just from the decreased comments from week 1 to this week, put a fork in it. It’s well done.. lol

  • http://www.macthemovieguy.com SirMac

    Egypt was robbed.