NBC’s Songland kicks off season 2 on Monday. The reality competition features up and coming songwriters presenting their work to a panel of successful writers, including Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean and Shane McAnally. In the premiere, Canadian native, Madeline Merlo, presents her song “I’ll Drink to That” to the panel and country supergroup, Lady Antebellum.
Madeline, along with three fellow artists, including American Idol alum Tim Halperin and Ryan Innes from The Voice compete to have Lady Antebellum record a version of their song.
Madeline’s funky country tune impresses the group. They immediately brainstorm ideas to improve the song. Lady Antebellum singer, Hillary Scott, immediately connects to the song. She’s excited to tweak the lyrics to “make it more us.” Ester loves the melody. “The groove is killer,” says another member, Dave Haywood. However, Shane points out that the lyrics are a little trite. “It has to be more than just ‘I’ll drink to that’,” he says. “If I ended up working on the song, it would be a completely new lyric,” he says.
Watching successful songwriters and artists transform a tune into a possible hit makes Songland compulsively watchable. I am happy to report that NBC has made NO tweaks to the show’s formula. Don’t fix something that isn’t broken, right? I watched a preview of Monday’s episode. Without giving too much away: Madeline’s song goes through a major transformation, but is much better for it in the end.
Songland season 2 premieres on NBC on Monday April 13 at 10 pm ET/PT.
Watch Madeline Merlo perform her song “I’ll Drink to That” for Lady Antebellum