UPDATE: The west coast saved Sonnett Simons who had earned only 3% less of the vote (73%-76%) than April Lockhart, the winner of the duel.
It’s week 2 of “The Duels” on Rising Star. Three more sets of contestants will face off against each other for YOUR vote. We’re live blogging here.
Advancing tonight were Macy Kate, April Lockhart and Austin French. The fourth contestant to move to the next round will be determined by the west coast vote. The experts are pulling hard for Gabrielle Nicole, so she’ll probably get the nod. Personally, I would prefer either Sonnett Simmons or Adam Jaymes to get the nod. C’mon west coast! Ignore the “experts” manipulation!
Only April Lockhart vs Sonnett Simmons were close in votes (76 vs 73) but with the experts voting for all of them, the public vote fell into line as well–unlike last week when TWO of the losing competitors earned more votes from the public.
I’ll update with the West Coast results when they become available.
First, film of Brad Paisley and one of last week’s losers, Sarah Darling singing “Whiskey Town” at the Grand Ole Opry over the weekend. Remember when he promised her an appearance as a consolation prize? That, instead of pimping her to the west coast. Oh. She won the popular vote, by the way.
Remember, the contestants flip a coin. The winner performs first in front of the wall. The second is last, behind the wall.
Gabrielle Nicole vs Macy Kate
Gabrielle Nicole – “River Deep Mountain High” – She was the major diva singer that had the crowd going wild. She had a cocky attitude, which could cost her votes. Both Ludacris and Kesha suggest she save the swagger for the stage. She’s so competitive, she’s studied Macy’s videos. I liked her her last week, but she’s trying WAY TOO HAD this week. This is a frantic performance. All three judges vote yes. For the record, I voted no. Seriously, CALM DOWN THERE GIRL. HA HA even with the experts voting for her, she’s only at 49%. The OTT performance coupled with her “attitude” last week did her in. “That’s the way to start off a show” says Ludacris. “You make it look easy.” Kesha calls her a strong woman. She loved watching her go “balls out.” Brad says she moves that stage like she owns it. He can’t understand why she didn’t score higher.
Macy Kate – “Demons” – She auditioned via super-professional looking instagram submission. She’s a Youtube star. Macy accompanies herself on the piano, at first. His is a little unwieldy too. All the experts vote for her and she zooms up to 80%. Eh, this performance was also super try hard. I didn’t really like either of them. Kesha says it’s a tragedy to lose either one of them. Oops. Kesha just said something that was bleeped. I’ll have to read some lips. Brad felt like it took Macy awhile to get going. He liked Gaby better. Both belong on the radio, he says. Luda begs the west coast to save Gaby.
Macy Kate Advances with 80% vs 49%
Josh Groban presents a big ball of yarn to Kesha for her “cat cult.”
April Lockhart vs Sonnet Simmons
Sonnett Simmons – “Feeling Good” – Brad calls it the battle of the “quirky unique” voices. Sonnett gets teary when she talks about being able to connect to the song. Kesha is all YOU CAN DO IT. Oh. I remember her. She got one of my few yes votes. She has a very unique voice. I really like her phrasing. I’m pretty bored with this song on singing competitions, but she manages to breath new life into it, although she’s got some pitchy stuff going on. SOME REAL PITCHY STUFF. Kesha votes yes. So does Brad and Luda. She’s just under pitch on the high notes. She’s out of her range. She taps out at 73%. Brad calls the song “gutsy.” He wants to hear her do a James Bond theme. Kesha feels like her confidence level is higher, and that she really “lived” it. Oh. Luda doesn’t get to talk. Short of time!
Brad and Josh are talking trash about each other on twitter.
April Lockhart – “Animal” – April is intimidating because she is younger and less experienced compared to Sonnett. She’s worried about the rangy notes in the second verse. She’s all weirdo enunciation and precious phrasing. She really should audition for The Voice. She’s pretty good actually. Her performance isn’t as ambitious vocally as Sonnett’s, but she’s mostly in tune and she’s got a relevant vibe. She played guitar last time with a specially made “beak” that took the place of her missing hand (She lost it in a birthing mishap) Her disability wasn’t even mentioned this week. When all of the experts vote for her, they push her past 76%. Luda says he’s voting yes a lot tonight. It took him awhile to vote, but she took their advice and pulled it together. Brad thinks she has an international career, particularly in Iceland and Japan (???). Josh had compared her outfit to Bjork. Not really feeling that vibe. But OK. No Kesha because we running behind time!
Nobody begs the west coast to vote for Sonnett. In fact, Josh gives her the “thanks for playing” speech. Personally, despite being pitchy, I think she was the better singer.
April Lockhart Advances 76% vs 73%
Adam Jaymes vs Austin French –
Austin French – “I Don’t Want to Be” – The experts advise Austin to distinguish himself in some way. In other words- YOU’RE BORING DUDE STEP IT UP. Yep. He’s super generic. His voice is lightweight, karaoke. I thought he stood out in his audition when he performed “Georgia on My Mind” but this ain’t doing much for me. I think he could have chosen a better song. All experts are voting yes again! What’s wrong with Ludacris? He’s going soft. Whoa. He ends at 81%. Kesha calls him super-soulful. Luda thinks America loves his optimism. Maybe it’s the church background. He’s proud that he’s improved his stage presence. This time, no Brad.
Adam Jaymes – “Free Fallin” – He really appreciated Brad’s advice. All the experts tell him to bring out his “bad boy.” Not sure why that’s necessary on this particular song? He accompanies himself on guitar. He has a few pitchy moments at first. But nevertheless, I already like this performance best. He has some edge and emotion that Austin lacks. He’s going to have a hard time beating Austin’s vote. Especially after Luda votes no. He’s toast. Brad and Kesha vote yes. He taps out at 53%. Ludacris felt he did good but not great, played it too safe. Kesha likes the way he looked. She wanted more from him, the momentum wasn’t there. Brad thought his song choice was risky. He calls Austin tough competition and one of the best singers in the competition. He never misses a note. Bleh. But he’s so boring.
Austin French Advances 81% vs 53%
The final 4 duels air next week:
Youth Pastor Joshua Peavy vs Super Mom Karen Hornsby (she’s the one with the sick kid)
Dana Williams vs “surfer girl” Audrey Kate
Classically trained bgv, Shameia Crawford vs R&B group, Unselfish
High school student, Morgan Higgins, vs fellow teen (she sang opera), Maneepat Myra Molloy