Here’s hoping American Idol judges Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez were tuning in for the sophomore outing of Platinum Hit, Bravo’s new reality competition for the songwriting set. Judges Kara DioGuardi, Jewel, Trevor Jerideau, and special guest Donna Summer provided the kind of succinct, specific feedback that was all too infrequent during Idol‘s recently concluded 10th season.
Monday night’s episode found the 11 remaining contestants writing hooks for a pre-recorded dance track; the winning three composers then chose teams from the remaining songwriters and hit the studio to create full tracks that were road-tested for a crowd of L.A. clubgoers.
I’ll admit I had some doubts about Scotty’s initial hook — or more specifically, his corny title “Paint This Club With Amazing.” But by the time incredibly annoying Nick and resident diva Sonyae added a counter melody and some holleration to the mix, I was ready to add the finished product to my Calorie Burner playlist. As Donna pointed out, the group (which also included milquetoast Melissa) managed to fill every moment of the track with something interesting. Bonus points for a slow and low delivery of the word “mojo,” although did anyone else think it a little odd that Scotty is even eligible for Platinum Hit, considering his boast about having written seven No. 1 hits in Europe? (Maybe it was only Lichtenstein?)
This week’s runner-up, “My Ridiculous,” had the unlikely distinction of rewarding Brian for finding artistic inspiration in Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy.” I liked the scrappy wordplay he concocted with Jackie and Jes, but I disagreed with the judges that the team should have recorded the track with Brian’s low voice. I actually really dug the way Jes’s airy vocals added an ethereal quality to the chorus, especially the “hey, baby” line.
And then, of course, there was the losing team of Karen, Blessing, Amber, and Johnny. I realize Karen failed to heed Donna’s advice to punch up the uniqueness of her lyrics and transform her soaring melody line from something downright “stock,” but hey, at least she contributed something to the mix. Kara’s feedback, that lyrically, the team never delved into the message of the song’s title, “Make It Easy,” was not only appropriately critical, but gave the remaining players food for thought in future rounds. And ultimately, I felt like the judges made the right call in sending home Blessing, who essentially shrugged off his responsibilities in the studio on account of his lack of connection to dance music, and whose initial hook, “Dance Romance,” was a musical abomination. “You can’t just opt out of a songwriting session,” huffed Jewel. Indeed! I hate to agree with Nick on anything, but the competition isn’t supposed to reward “the best blind guy with a dog who can sing.”
What did you think of this week’s episode? Did you enjoy it more than last week’s season premiere? Do you have a favorite contestant thus far? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!