Clash of the Cover Bands – 80s Icons
On Week 8 of Clash of the Cover Bands Queens of Country battle it out as Dolly Parton and Carrie Underwood tribute artists take the stage. tWitch hosts the series. Adam Lambert, Ester Dean and Meghan Trainor sit on the judges panel.
Meghan, who has produced and written for country artists (American Idol’s Lauren Alaina, for instance) believes the genre is popular because it is so relatable.
Dolly Parton THE Queen of Country Music
Karen Hester from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina pays tribute to Dolly Parton. The singer comes from a musical family, but is the only one who perused music. Eventually, she joined a tribute show. But, she didn’t even know tribute was a thing. For 10 years she has worked as a Dolly tribute, travelling the world. Unfortunately, COVID hit the her industry hard.
She sings “Nine to Five” and is a little high pitched, but sounds like Dolly, pulling off the trembly vibrato and Tennessee hollar accent. Karen is obviously a pro in the business. She stays in character, even after the performance. Ester calls her spot on and dead on. “You know you’re good!” Adam adds. “You sound like the record.” He also compliments her band. She mentions that her husband worked at Dollywood before they met. Meghan suggests that she work with the glam expert. “Bigger hair!” suggests Adam.
Carrie Underwood is “Country Couture”
Amanda Kate, from Texas, works as a technical recruiter. She lives with her daughter and a bunch of horses. Her mom was a singer songwriter. Amanda was in high school when Carrie won American Idol in 2005. A big admirer of Carrie, Amanda covered her songs often. Eventually, her bass player suggested she put together a tribute. She’s been singing as Carrie since 2017, and notes the songs are a vocal workout. Tragedy struck: Four years ago, her mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and recently died.
She sings “Before He Cheats.” Carrie is taller and has nicer legs. But who has better legs than Carrie, right? The Dolly tribute is superior. But Amanda isn’t terrible. She manages to approximate Carrie’s crystal clear country sound. Meghan calls Amanda a queen. Ester notes how Carrie performs with attitude, and so does Amanda in her act. Adam thinks Amanda could use a make-over, because Carrie is always impeccably styled. Amanda will also visit the Clash Style Expert.
Dolly Parton and Carrie Underwood Meet the Experts
Driving in her car Amanda (Carrie) refers to the Style Expert as a he, but she’s actually Maggie Barry. OOPS. The stylist has pulled a bunch of gowns for her to try. Maggie calls Carrie’s look “couture country.” She picks a pink number Maggie calls “cowboy glam.” She also chooses a beautiful, sparkly cream colored gown.
For Karen, Maggie wants to bring back the down home look, but without losing the glitz and glamor. They pick sparkly outfits, but with rootsy, Americana style. Maggie also assists with the hair and makeup. They choose an epic wig. Karen does ALL of her own hair, makeup and styling, and is happy to finally work with a professional.
Time for battle
In the battle rounds, the tributes trade off snippets of their artist’s most beloved hits. Carrie kicks it off with “Cowboy Casanova.” Next, it’s Dolly with the classic “Jolene.” And now Carrie sings “Something in the Water.” Her dress is so pretty. Then Dolly sings “Two Doors Down.” Next, Carrie performs “Church Bells.” And Dolly ends the battle with “I Will Always Love You.”
“My country queens! You crushed it!” gushes Meghan. She loved their outfits and feels that they both delivered. Ester thinks both did an amazing job. Adam says they BOTH came to the battle with more elevated looks. “You totally brought it,” he says.
Adam thinks the decision will be hard. But Dolly has been the clear winner from the beginning. Karen is a professional who embodies Dolly from head to toe, never breaking character. Her vocal impression is uncanny.
The Panel choose a winner
And the winner is Karen Hester as Dolly Parton. She wins $10,000 and a chance to perform on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.
Next week it’s Rock Legends: Ozzy Osbourne vs Bon Jovi