UPDATE: The west coast saved Lisa Punch. No surprise there. She joins Alice Lee, Megan Tibbets and Jesse Kinch for the next round of the competition.
I’m bad at math. So it wasn’t until a few peeps on twitter pointed it out that I realized that both Lisa Punch and Sarah Darling WON the popular vote, but lost their respective duels anyway. That’s due to the 7% each of the experts wield in votes. Unless there’s a VERY strong win on one side, as in the third duel, where Jesse Kinch basically kicked Will Roth’s ass, the experts drive the outcome.
Not much of an incentive to participate, eh?. Also, the tallies for the first two duels appeared to be rigged as close calls to allow the west coast to participate in the outcome. After the west coast votes, the loser with the highest percentage will also move to the next round. The experts pleaded hard with the west coast on Lisa Punch’s behalf, so she’ll likely be the one to advance. Brad basically offered Sarah the consolation prize of an Opry appearance. As if she’s never been there before…
The point is? This show is feeling more and more rigged. Sure, in these singing shows, the producers behind the scenes are always attempting to manipulate outcomes. But it’s as if the mechanisms are in a glass box and we can see everything. The engineering is so obvious. The show boasts the ability for viewers to make instant decisions on the fates of the singers. It’s a promise that’s looking pretty ridiculous at this point.
Keeping my fingers crossed that the west coast saves Sarah Darling….
We’re live blogging Rising Star here! The Duels begin!
It’s win or go home, says host Josh Groban. Six performers are preparing backstage. Josh shows off his socks, which sport a puzzle pieces pattern. How nerdy!
The first performer will sing with the wall up. The second performer will perform behind the wall. The first singer sets the score to beat. The order was determined by a coin toss a week ago.
Alice Lee vs Lisa Punch – All three experts mentor the singers.
Alice Lee – Wings – I don’t even remember her from the auditions. She’s so boring and off key. I vote NOOOOOO. Brad votes yes (he voted no the first time). Ludacris also votes yes, and Kesha follows. SO MANY PITCH PROBLEMS. So karaoke. She finishes at 69%. That’s the score Lisa needs to beat. Brad calls her a pro. He thinks Lisa will be at a disadvantage. Kesha calls her “Bad Ass”. Luda loves that she took their advice.
Lisa Punch – Perfect – The experts say she was matched with Alice because they are both strong performers. She’s never done any vocal training “Pitches and keys sounds weird to me.” OMG. They remind her that Alice is highly trained. I already like Lisa more than Alice. I hope she wins. AT LEAST SHE’S ON KEY. Not bad for having no idea what that means. Her phrasing is really leaden, though. I wouldn’t call her fantastic. She hits some big notes squarely. That’s what’s going to win her the round. Wait. I take back the part about being on key. She loses control at the end. Luda and Brad vote no. Kesha votes yes. She tops out at 66% and loses the battle. I still think she should have won. Kesha hopes the west coast votes her through. Brad thinks of the two, Alice is ready to win.
Alice Lee wins the round 69% vs 66%
Megan Tibbits vs Sarah Darling
Megan Tibbits – Summertime – She’s ditching the harp for the guitar this week. Megan was thrilled when Brad gave a demonstration on her instrument. Kesha reminds her not to lose the delicate part of her voice. Luda suggests she use her musicianship to best Sarah, who is not playing an instrument tonight. Megan is MUCH better this week. She’s not a bad guitar player. Her folk version of Summertime is very soulful. She’s staying on key this week. WHOA That is, until she hits a high note totally out of her reach. All three experts vote yes, and she ends up at 71%. Kesha is obsessed with her. She loves her voice. Brad is impressed with her command of instruments. He’s glad she showcased her voice this time. Luda calls her most improved.
Sarah Darling – “I Hope You Dance” – Sarah lost the coin toss and will perform from behind the wall. Luda feels she has to project more. Kesha tells her to open her mouth more when she sings. This is a very sweet rendition. She has a classic country voice. But it’s not big. I voted for her, because I think she’s talented and would like to see her get a second chance. She’s doing beautifully, but is it showy enough for a competition? I don’t think she can beat Megan. Brad votes yes. Kesha and Luda vote no. BOO. She taps out at 68%. Brad voted yes because he understands her country crooning couldn’t compete against Megan. He invites her to sing at the Opry with him next week. Kesha and Luda voted no because they favored Megan. Luda felt she was still holding back.
Megan Tibbits wins the round 71% to 69%.
Will Roth Vs Jesse Kinch – The two rocker dudes compete.
Will Roth – Wrecking Ball – Kesha asked to touch his beard. She loves beards. Will is counting on his creativity ruling the day. He’s friendly with Jesse, but he won’t let anyone stand in the way of his career. His rendition of the Miley Cyrus hit is done in a bluesy hard rock style. This is OK. His phrasing is choppy, and vocals harsh. I’m not really enjoying this. I vote no. Brad votes yes. Luda votes no. Kesha votes yes. He tops out at 57%. It’s the lowest score of night. Jesse will have no problem beating him. Kesha thought the song choice was genius.
Jesse Kinch – Whipping Post – He’s gonna WHIP WILL’S ASS. Just sayin’. Luda directs him to look the audience in the eye. Which is interesting, since he’ll perform behind the wall. Brad and he had the opportunity to jam on guitars. Yeah. Jesse’s got this duel. His gravelly, growly voice is perfect on this Allman Brothers classic. He’s a fairly solid guitar player too. The wall goes up fast after all three experts quickly vote yes. He tops out at 90%. It’s a rout. I mean he literally kicks Will to the curb. Ludacris was standing on his chair “America has spoken” says Kesha. “I love you both,” says Brad. But he loved Jesse a lot more. Josh’s parting advice to Will is to keep doing his vocal warmups. He did sound rough.
Jesse Kinch wins the round 90% to 57%