It’s another night of duels on Rising Star, when two singers go head-to-head. By the end of the night, three singers will move on, and one of the eliminated singers will be put through by the West Coast.

Gabrielle Nicole (“River Deep Mountain High”) vs. Macy Kate (“Demons”)

It’s a battle of the two first names: Gabrielle Nicole has a little bit of an issue with not holding the mic to her mouth the entire time she’s carrying a tune, and at times, the music seems overpowering even though she’s a powerful singer. She looks kind of possessed on stage, and I think that’s a good thing. All the coaches get her through, but she gets 49%, which is beatable. The experts give her a standing ovation — and don’t sit down even through their comments. Brad Paisley wonders why the score’s not higher.

Macy Kate is the contestant plucked from the audience. Kesha gives good advice during practice that Macy Kate should start with a powerful note in the beginning to start off strong. The first half of the performance is cringeworthy, so I’m not sure what everyone’s thinking as I see her votes rise steadily — the low notes are shaky, and she can’t even hit the high ones. However, she does hit her stride and she advances by a landslide with 80%.

Sonnet Simmons (“Feeling Good”) vs. April Lockhart (“Animals”)

This is a duel between two unique voices: You either love ’em or strongly dislike ’em. Sonnet can win this based just on that intro — it’s that mesmerizing. She starts off really powerfully, and I feel like she can’t quite maintain that same level through the entire song. I feel like she’s the type of singer that you either love or really dislike and there’s no in between. I do feel like I have to cover my ears when she takes her voice super high and stays there, but I enjoyed it overall. All the coaches vote her through and she gains a total of 73%.

April is bringing the quirk, which is just about the only nice thing I can say about the performance. I think her voice is suited best for a slower song, so I’m not feeling this up-tempo tune. Perhaps she could’ve slowed it all down. It doesn’t help that she also seems to be behind the music at times. As the performance goes on, however, there’s something about her that grows on me, and by the end I’m kind of digging it. Brad and Kesha vote her in, but it’s taking Luda a while to make his decision. It’s a close one, and he says yes. April advances with 75%. Brad says that in Japan and Iceland or something, April will be a star. I guess that’s a compliment.

Austin French (“I Don’t Wanna Be”) vs. Adam James (“Free Falling”)

For some reason, Luda gives the advice of telling Austin to wear a bow tie, and I’m glad that he doesn’t. He definitely picks a song that fits him. It’s … nice, but I’m not blown away because he just sounds so much like Gavin DeGraw. But he performs like he’s the second singer, the one with the desperation, so that’s good. He finishes with 81%, which is the highest of the night. Wow! 

Apparently, Adam’s song is a suggestion from a fan. Great — blame it on the fan if he doesn’t get through. He starts off shaky, and it has okay moments, but mostly bad than good. It just kind of stays in one spot and is boring. Luda gives a no, but the other two do say yes. He says the momentum wasn’t there for the full two minutes. He gets 53%, and Austin wins the duel.


Unlike last week’s close run-off, Sonnet Simmons will advance to the next round after receiving 73% of the West Coast vote, the same as she got on the East Coast. The other two Duel losers did slightly better with West Coast viewers (Gabrielle at 51% and Adam at 56%), but neither came close to Sonnet.

Rising Star airs Sundays at 9pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Esther Gim

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV