Clash of the Cover Bands – Kings of Country
On Week 3 of Clash of the Cover Bands its the Kings of Country as Tim McGraw battles Keith Urban. tWitch hosts the series. Adam Lambert, Ester Dean and Meghan Trainor sit on the judges panel.
Addressing the contestants at the beginning of the show, Ester, who works in Nashville says: “At the end of the day, when it comes to country, it’s spilling the heart out and relating to everyone in the audience.”
Tim McGraw impersonator works on his abs
First up, it’s Adam Tucker from Sissonville West Virginia. Tim McGraw became Adam’s Elvis Presley. And once Adam graduated college where he played football, he pursued a country music career. But record executives said he sounded to much like the “real guy.” Adam got married, but didn’t let go of his ambitions.
Adam works out to keep a sleek physique, just like his hero. So, physical antics are very much a part of his stage act: Jumping on stools, lifting up his shirt, flirting with the audience. He’s confident on stage. But his vocal is VERY nasally and super twangy. He’s not a great singer.
Adam Lambert calls it a fun performance and compliments Tim’s charisma. Ester felt like she was watching a summer concert in Nashville. “Great job on physical embodiment!” Meghan suggests that he go to the vocal expert to work on his twang, and do additional work with the movement expert.
A blond wig transforms a tribute into Keith Urban
Next up, it’s Adam Rutledge who covers Keith Urban. (Yes, there are three Adams tonight. I’ll mostly be referring to the contestants by their tribute’s names.) His at home look is short gray hair. Not at all Keith-like. He’s a stay at home dad who played in a rock band for 10 years. His own dad was a musician. For Adam, the tribute is recent thing and it’s all about the guitar. When he dons a blond wig to play Keith, there is a resemblance.
Adam covers “Somebody Like Me” and he’s got the vocal down pretty well, and is a decent guitar player But his presence is very laid back. He needs to work the stage and be more animated. Keith Urban performs like a rockstar. Meghan feels like Keith is “real close” but she senses nerves. Ester thinks he looks like Keith. But she wants more from him. Adam calls him a “natural” and compliments his “pipes” and his hair. But in order to improve Keith’s confidence, the panel also sets him up with the vocal and movement experts.
Tim and Keith meet the experts
The tributes meet with both Clash experts at the same time.
Kuk Harrell the vocal expert, notes Keith’s confidence while he plays guitar. In order to bring that confidence to his vocal performance, Kuk works on his enunciation and intent. The movement expert Ray Leeper helps him with audience connection. That is, sensing when the audience is pulling away, and leaning into them. Ray feels Keith took his notes really quickly.
However, the Tim McGraw tribute has all the confidence in the world. His vocal impression isn’t as good as Keith Urban. But charisma always wins the day.
Kuk helps Tim pick the right places to twang. Apparently, Tim uses props. Ray uses a chair, to calm him down a bit, and streamline his energy. Ray points out that the two tributes are nervous. But they compensate for it differently. One withdraws, while the other overdoes it.
Time for battle.
Each tribute will sing a snip of a hit song alternately. At the end, the judges will choose a winner.
Keith sings, “Who Wouldn’t Want to be Me,” “Days Go By.” “You Look Good in My Shirt.” While Tim croons “Real Good Man,” “I Like it I Love it,” “Humble and Kind.”
I searched out videos of performances by Tim McGraw and he does NOT sing with an exaggerated twang. Also, he doesn’t perform like a drunken frat boy. Tim’s vocal performances were pretty awful, except for “Humble and Kind” where he actually channeled some real emotion.
Keith has the better vocal impression. However, while his stage presence seemed to improve, he’s still too passive on stage. He’s got to believe he’s a rock star to play one convincingly.
Judges choose a winner
The judges applauded both tributes for taking the experts notes. Adam thought Keith “totally brought it,” while Tim seemed like less of a caricature. Meghan’s heart fluttered when Tim called out her name at the beginning.
So, it’s no surprise that Adam Tucker covering Tim McGraw won the $10,000 and a shot at performing on the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. I would have picked Adam Rutledge as Keith Urban. He wasn’t perfect, but he delivered a more natural, believable performance.
E Entertainment posts FULL episodes at noon ET. So watch for that!