Rising Star, hosted by Josh Groban, begins its first night of the Duel Rounds tonight. The contestants who America has voted on from the previous three nights of auditions will compete head-to-head against each other tonight. Only the best of the best will get to move on to next Sunday’s episode. The Experts, as the panel of three cast members are called, are Brad Paisley, Ludacris, and Kesha.
Rising Star on ABC began with Will Roth, Sarah Darling, Jesse Kinch, Megan Tibbits, Lisa Punch and Alice Lee will be in the first group of contestants who battle it out in the Duel Rounds. “The pressure is on,” as Groban said, “because tonight, it’s win or go home!” The votes of the West Coast voters will be able to save one of the losing contestants.
Over the next three weeks, the performers will compete, with the first one of a pair performing with the Wall up, while the second one will perform with the Wall down. The first Duel Round will be between Alice Lee and Lisa Punch.
Up first in the Duel Rounds is Alice Lee, 25, singing Wings. She ROCKS IT OUT, but the votes come slowly at the beginning. Brad, Ludacris and Kesha vote for her, adding their votes to the overall total. She only reaches 69 percent of America’s votes, though.
Brad said that “You know who you are. I saw the soul and the commitment.”
Kesha said that “It was a bad-ass way to start the show.”
Ludacris added that “You came back with a lot more energy. What Lisa needs to do is come back with that much more energy and voice.”
Lisa Punch will need to get more than 69 percent of America’s votes, with the Wall down, to win and move on. We got to see her getting advice from the panel of experts.
Lisa Punch sang Perfect. She started out singing softly but sultrily, then her voice kept on building up. The audience clapped along as she sang. She did an AMAZING job with this song! The votes America was giving her also kept on climbing up. Kesha voted for her, but Ludacris voted no, as did Brad Paisley. She only earned 66 percent of the overall votes, meaning that Alice Lee won the first Duel Round.
Ludacris said “I’ve seen you do better.”
Kesha said “I hate this! I hate that you have to go home, and I hope that the West Coast will send you on through!”
Brad Paisley said “This is a competition to see who is ready to win this. I think that Alice is just a little bit more ready to win this, though you’re great.”
Josh mentions that up next on Rising Star, Megan Tibbits, 26, will be going up head-to-head against Sarah Darling. If it is as close as the first Duel Round, it should make for a pretty entertaining Duel.
Megan spoke with the Experts first, Brad Paisley showing her some tips about playing the guitar. She said that this week, she will be playing the guitar rather than the harp.
Megan was first to sing of the pair, singing Summertime with the Wall up. She was smokin’ hot and hit some uber-high notes. She got the votes of all of the Experts, reaching 70 percent right at the end of the song.
Kesha said “I’m obsessed about you. I’ve been dreaming at you, seriously.”
Brad said “I can’t say I’ve been dreaming about her. The thing that is so impressive about you is your command of musical instruments. It will be interesting to see what Sarah has to do to beat this.”
Ludacris said “You just blew me away. It was like night and day.”
Josh Groban then announced that the second half of the pair, Sarah Darling, will sing right after the commercial break on Rising Star on ABC in the Duel Rounds. She will have to give it her all to beat Megan Tibbits.
Sarah said she had “such an amazing day meeting with all of the Experts at Capitol Records.” She said that the song she will be singing is I Hope You Dance.
“In order for me to beat Megan, I will have to be powerful and hang on every word,” Sarah said.
She sang behind the Wall, with her image projected upon it. Sarah did not play a musical instrument, which might make it harder for her.
Sarah did not get a yes vote from Kesha, Ludacris also voted no. She sang the bleep out of the song, but only managed to earn Brad Paisley’s vote. She just got 69 percent of America’s votes, not counting the West Coast.
Brad Paisley the only one of the Experts who voted yes, said “I thought what you did, you did very well. Why don’t you come to the Opry this week and we’ll welcome you.”
Kesha told her “I hated to vote no, but you did a beautiful job.”
Ludacris said “I know what you’re capable of, but I still don’t think you gave it your all, so I had to vote no.”
That means that Megan Tibbits, with 70 percent of the overall votes, beat Sarah Darling, who earned 69 percent of the votes. However, the votes of the West Coast could save her.
“Up next,” Josh said, “will be Jesse Kinch going head-to-head in the Duel Rounds against Will Roth on Rising Star on ABC.” As Rising Star is just an hour long tonight, as opposed to the two hour-long Auditions episodes, this Duel Round will be the final one of the night.
Will Roth will be the first one to sing. He said that “The drawback is that he’ll be going against his friend, Jesse.”
Speaking to Kesha, he said that he will be singing Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus. “I won’t let anyone stand in my way,” he said.
He sang in an almost falsetto voice, but it sounded pretty cool. The audience clapped along as he sang, and cheered. Brad voted no, not seemingly very impressed. It took a while for America to give him very many votes. Ludacris voted no. He just got 57 percent of America’s votes.
Kesha said “I think that the song choice was genius.”
When Rising Star returns from another commercial break, we will get to hear Jesse Kinch sing. If he is able to get more than 57 percent of America’s votes, then he will be the one of the pair to move on to the next round.
Jesse Kinch, 20, will be singing behind the Wall. He will be singing Whipping Post. Ludacris tells him that he should look up, at elast noew and then, as he signs. He thought that it was “incredible” that he got to jam with Brad Paisley. Both of these singers are great, so seeing either one go home will be sad.
Jesse Kinch NAILED this song! He sang with tons of power and earned all of the Experts’ votes, as well as getting the highest vote total of the evening from America, 90 percent in total!
Ludacris was standing on his chair. He said “America has spoke!”
Kesha said “That just felt good! That was amazing!”
Brad said “We love you Will. We think you’re so cool — don’t change.”
Josh said “I was sad to see any of the two of you go.” That was perhaps not the most grammatically-correct statement Josh has ever made, but the sentiment was a good one.
On Rising Star, the Duel Rounds will continue next week, bringing even more thrills and entertainment to the viewers of America. We will also learn which one of the losing singers this week will get to continue on, thanks to the votes of the West Coast.
Tonight’s episode of Rising Star, though it was only an hour long, featured some great singing. The closest Duel Round was the one involving Megan Tibbits singing against Sarah Darling. Megan won with 70 percent of the votes, while Sarah very narrowly was beaten, earning 69 percent of America’s votes.
The second closest competition of Rising Star was in the very first Duel Round, when Alice Lee went against Lisa Punch. Lee beat Punch in that Duel Round, but only by three percent of the overall votes. Not getting the votes of the panel of Experts made the difference in that round.
The best singing job of the night on Rising Star was arguably that of Jesse Kinch, who sang a very impressive version of Whipping Post. He easily beat his opponent, Will Roth, who is a great singer but who could have possibly benefited by singing a different song than Wrecking Ball. It will be interesting to see if Jesse can keep his winning streak going during the coming weeks on Rising Star.
Written By Douglas Cobb