Soloists have gotten all the love so far on Rising Star
. It's not like duos and bigger groups haven't had their shot: they've all been not even average, but bad. With three more groups looking to raise the wall, will one of them finally break through?
Dana Williams ("Stay" by Rihanna)
Her father was a popular guitar player in the business, who performed with the likes of Michael Jackson and Madonna, but then had a stroke and then a heart attack before passing away. So yeah, she's performing for him.
Her voice is just nice (a bit forgettable), but the song choice doesn't help. She's too soft behind the music. It's also not as emotional as the original, but at least she ends on a strong, clear note. She gets the wall raised with 87%.
I'm thinking along the lines of Luda, who suggests she needs to project more. Kesha gives us our first "You can win the entire competition." Really?
Unselfish ("Some Nights" by fun.)
This quartet sings together and lives together, and I immediately feel claustrophobic.
Can we just put fun. in the category of artists that you just don't sing in competitions? They have a lot of energy, and I think they start off tight with their harmony, but by the middle, I have no idea what's going on. The wall stays down with a 45% approval, including from Kesha, who seems to be the sympathetic vote sometimes.
Cliff Cody ("I'm Gonna Be Somebody" by Travis Tritt)
This big country guy quit his nursing job to become a full-time musician. And the kicker is that his goats are named Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Amazing! But too bad they're not the real duo because they would've prevented him from singing this song.
He comes out with a big booming voice, but it goes downhill from there. The song just feels lazy -- not that that's a bad thing, but for a competition, there's really no sense of urgency. Brad votes yes, but the wall stays down at 48%.
Audrey Kate Geiger ("Stay with Me" by Sam Smith)
She has a unique tone and somewhat soulful voice that lends well to this song, but it gets tiring by the end. That special quality from the start is lost, and I've lost my interest. She still gets through with 83%.
Luda says her runs were all over. Kesha and Brad talk about "being herself," which they explain by saying she needs to put her hair down. Right.
OhMG ("Lights" by Ellie Goulding)
I kind of don't want them to go through based on their name. Not only that, but the last duo to audition wasn't good at all. Thirdly, Josh tells them they're super pitchy. This is not off to a good start -- and it hasn't even started.
It's a bit nasally, and their voices don't blend well together. However, I am digging their arrangement. Of course, Kesha gives her a sympathy vote and votes yes for them.
All the experts say they liked the female voice but not the guy's. Ouch.
Gabrielle Nicole ("My Man" by Barbra Streisand)
She's a diva who only sings diva songs. Period. She's confident and gives off some cockiness, but it's cute to me.
And she walks the walk, easily getting the three yeses in the quickest amount of time this season. There's control and depth and emotion that we haven't gotten from anyone so far on this show. She sounds like Jennifer Hudson's mini-me. She's easily through with 90% approval -- the highest.
Karen Hornsby ("To Love You More" by Celine Dion)
She has a gut-wrenching story of her 2-year-old having brain cancer, going through chemotherapy five times and being blind. So she sings her heart out for her.
Unfortunately, it's all over the place. She has good moments, even some great moments, but a majority of it is weak. Her emotions take over her, and the judges and America decide to let that go because she's in with 82%.
Brad acknowledges the pitch issues, and all three basically admit she's through because of her backstory. Luda equates her performance to freedom. So I guess a vote for Karen is a vote for freedom.
TX3 ("Keep Your Head Up" by Andy Grammer)
This is a group of triplets from Popeye the Sailor's hometown of Illinois. They've performed as "Trippendales," which they say has motivated them to sing. Say what?
It's painful from the first note. I cannot believe Kesha votes them in, and they earn 22% total. But she admits she voted for them so they can take their shirts off. Brad just says the performance "is not my thing." Bad harmonies and flat voices aren't anyone's thing.
Skye Griffin ("Only Girl in the World" by Rihanna)
Well, this sounds familiar: she gets 28% of the vote and Kesha votes her in. Just know that it's bad.
Morgan Higgins ("Alone" by Heart)
She's apparently a YouTube sensation (cough TheVoice cough). It gets theatrical and I'm thinking, "This is the last live audition?" Her breaths in the beginning are extremely audible, and there's a scream and screech. Brad says no ... but she's in with 79%.
Luda admits he was on the fence and that the vocals need work, but he sees something in her that can't be put into words, which isn't an actual trait or quality, but we'll have to put up with it.
So there you have it. The singers who made it through the last three weeks will now be mentored by the experts and paired up in duels. America will be able to vote for which singer gets through. As for the show as a whole, it seems like production-wise, at least, it took a step back. Josh Groban's mic was very inaudible at one point, the camera did a weird span right to a bright light and it just didn't seem cohesive as well.
Here's to a better week next week!
Rising Star airs Sundays at 9pm on ABC.