Rising Star Semifinals Results
UPDATE: Audrey Kate Geiger wins the West Coast Vote. She’ll move on with Austin French, Dana Williams and Jesse Kinch to next week’s final. She beat Joshua Peavy by only 1%.
Host, Josh Groban takes the ALS Ice Bucket challenge during the show intro! He challenges the six semifinalists to do the same. Three of the singers will advance to the finals, with one West coast save.
The “experts” votes will only count for 1% each. This week, Josh and the experts mentor the contestants–particularly on song choice. After the last couple of weeks of terrible song picks, the producers probably figured it was a good idea to step in.
“America, pull your head out of your apps,” says Josh. Har har.
Austin French – Love Runs Out – An upbeat, contemporary song for Austin. It’s perfect for him, because it retains that funky, soulful, retro vibe that has been his signature in this competition. It’s a confident, energetic performance. The votes rise and rise. Kesha is the first to vote yes. Brad is next. Luda is last minute–probably just for show. Austin tops out at 81%. Kesha calls him “infectiously cute.” Brad says, “You’re so natural at this.” Luda is impressed with the way Austin worked the stage, coming right up close to the experts. Luda joins Austin on stage to demonstrate! – 81%
Maneepat Malloy – Chandelier – In the mentoring session, Kesha joins Maneepat on stage to give her performance pointers. Will the advice help? Live, Maneepat remains as boring as ever. She adds some weird facial expresses and hand gestures. It doesn’t help that she’s flat on the high notes. She really has a weak, undramatic head voice. Oy. This is so bad. This girl should have been eliminated weeks ago. She tops out at 27% Luda voted no. She sang a difficult song, but didn’t master it, he says. To say the least. Brad voted yes, because she looked more comfortable. But he agrees there were vocal problems. Kesha is glad she took her advice. “You sang it beautifully,” says Kesha. Yeah. About as well as Kesha would have. Therein lies the problem of Kesha as a judge of vocal ability. – 27%
Jesse Kinch – Billie Jean – For once, Jesse doesn’t get the pimp spot. Not that he needs it. Brad wants Jesse to surprise him. Yes Jesse! It’s time to surprise us all! And what does he choose? A cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”– because a rocker has never sung it on a competition reality show before. Snerk. Jesse begins slow and dramatic, with an acoustic guitar. Strings! Jesse shows off his powerful vocals. Brad votes yes. He stands up with his hands in his air. Luda votes yes. OF COURSE WE ALL KNOW THIS WAS DONE BEFORE by American Idol season 7 winner, David Cook. And that it was originally sung and arranged by Chris Cornell. It was a major moment for David on the show. The arrangement isn’t exactly the same, but similar enough that hands will wring. “Who the hell sings a Michael Jackson song and makes them forget it’s a Michael Jackson song.” asks Luda. LOL. The experts are all over themselves praising Jesse’s originality. It was a good performance. Jesse can sang. But. You know. – 83%
Dana Williams – Sunday Morning – Dana cries during rehearsal as the experts encourage her. Luda says if she puts that emotion in her song, she can’t lose. Dana is glamorous, in a black halter topped gown. I’ve been pulling for this singer all along. She really is an underdog. I will be voting yes, unless she blows it. And tonight, the experts words of encouragement must have really helped, because she’s singing the best she ever has. Dana BRANGING IT! Finally, an accessible song choice. Her jazzy interpretation really shows off her unique tone and beautiful phrasing. She’s present on stage in a way she never has been before. She barely misses a note. A big impressive finish. She gets 3 yeses and tops out at 75%. I hope she advances to the finals. Kesha calls her a diamond in the rough. Luda is happy she did her homework and feels she’s proved that she wants it. Brad feels it was the first time she really connected to the audience. – 75%.
Maneepat Malloy is eliminated.
Audrey Kate Geiger – Killing Me Softly – New York State of Mind was such a hit last week, Audrey mines the oldies again this week. It’s a good performance. But she’s playing it too safe. Love her quirky sound, but her interpretation is one note. The experts all vote yes. But I’m bored. I wish she’d play with dynamics more. Oh. She tops out at 69%. Audrey Kate is eliminated!. Luda thought the performance got off to a slow start. He understands why America voted no. Kesha thought the song choice was wrong. I think the song choice was OK, but that vocal arrangement was a snoozer. Brad says, “We got to save you.” – 69%
Audrey Kate Geiger is eliminated.
Joshua Peavy – What Hurts the Most – Brad convinced Josh to sing Rascal Flatts. You’ll remember that Brad voted no last week, making the suggestion that he sing country. What’s with these song arrangements beginning with the chorus? Josh gets off to a yelly start. I’m not sure this is a great song choice for Joshua, to be honest. His upper range here isn’t up to task. But he’s singing for his family and daughter, who are sitting in the audience. That should help. His votes are inching up. Luda votes no! He tops out at 72%. ELIMINATED! YESSSS. That was a frantic, uncomfortable performance. Brad thought he did did great. He thinks country is where Josh belongs. No. Josh belongs in AC or Gospel. His attempt to navigate a new genre didn’t work. Brad offers to record Josh. Luda basically voted no to save Dana. I LOVE YOU LUDA. – 72%.
There’s a good chance Joshua will be saved by the west coast.
Austin French, Dana Williams and Jesse Kinch advance to the finals! A fourth finalist will be determined by the west coast. I’ll update later!
Jesse Kinch – 83%
Austin French – 81%
Dana Williams – 75%
Joshua Peavy – 72%
Audrey Kate Geiger – 69%
Manapeet Malloy – 27%