Rising Star Recap: Wall You Were Sleeping [Updated]

Rising Star Sonnet Simmons cult

Oh, come on, it’s not all dark clouds and Kardashian hindquarter selfies over at ABC’s Rising Star. After a critically maligned and ratings-challenged premiere last week, the good news is that the possibility of week-to-week viewership declines could make things exciting for folks who stay loyal to the not-entirely-tuneful cause.

Suppose, for example, that only 100 actively engaged voters stick with this reality-competition mess through its Season 1 finale: You — yes, you! — might actually wind up contributing one percent of the total vote. How’s that for power?

And fret not, west coast residents, you’re important, too: In what can only be described as an absolute coincidence by ABC’s publicity team, tonight’s first and last contestants scored just under the 70% total needed to “raise the wall” and advance to Round 2. “The west coast will save you!” guaranteed Kesha, after Shameia Crawford opened the show and fell just short with 69%. Likewise, Megan Tibbits ended the telecast gasping her way through a John Legend number — but playing the harp while she did it! — and thus earned 68%.

To clarify, any contestant scoring a 70% total from logged-in viewers and/or some combo of the show’s judges (who account for 7% each of the voting total) during the live east-coast feed OR in the tape-delayed west coast feed will advance to Round 2.

Gack. I know. You barely care enough to keep Rising Star on in the background while you load the dishwasher. You definitely don’t want to read a 1,000-word recap.

So, bearing that in mind, let me offer some brief thoughts, then pass the mic to you.

Shameia Crawford, “We Are Young”
(rejected with 69% of the votes, including all three judges)
Way to suck the life and youth out of a fairly recent radio hit with an abysmal arrangement, Ray Chew & Co! Also, the vocals were not on point.
Grade: C

April Lockhart, “Say You’ll Be There”
(advanced with 85% of votes, including all three judges)
Her final glory note was brutal, but cool song choice and rich tone scored a “yes” vote from me before she hit it.
Grade: B

Austin French, “Georgia on My Mind”
(advanced with 87% of votes, including all three judges)
A comment from my barely-paying-attention husband: “This guy is a quote-unquote rising star because Kesha — for f—‘s sake Kesha! — hit a button?!”
Grade: C

Trinitii, “Problem”
(rejected with 30% of the votes, including Kesha)
This show has one less problem without this trio. And damn, that was some rough rapping.
Grade: D-

Alice J. Lee, “You and I”
(advanced with 73% of votes, including Ludacris and Kesha)
The judges were right — the off-Broadway baby wasn’t quite bluesy enough, but at least she hit most of her notes. Which on this show, ought to result in an automatic Top 10 placement.
Grade: B

Rye Davis, “When You Say Nothing at All”
(rejected with 45% of the votes, including none of the judges)
I guarantee I will not remember this performance by the time I’m pouring milk over my Wheat Chex tomorrow.
Grade: D+

Sonnet Simmons, “Wicked Game”
(advanced with 81% of votes, including all three judges)
Nice combo of power and vulnerability — combined with an ethereal falsetto and some melodic risk-taking — makes her one to watch, despite a few wobbly notes. Did Kesha really need to make jokes about Sonnet’s mom having been in a cult? (Short answer: No.)
Grade: B+

Deedra Ervin, “Anything Could Happen”
(rejected with 26% of the votes, including none of the judges)
I liked that she boogied and bounced around. Let’s leave it at that — seeing as her family’s house just burned down two weeks ago.
Grade: D+

Will Roth, “Sweater Weather”
(advanced with 83% of votes, including all three judges)
Bearded growler got Kesha’s vote based on facial hair and backstory — he’s a vet tech and private detective. Based on his vocal accuracy, though, I’ll just say it’s a good thing he’s got two other careers on which to fall back.
Grade: C-

Egypt Dixon, “Fancy”
(rejected with 44% of the votes, including Kesha)
Her rapping wasn’t half bad — or, well, uh… at least she had believable attitude? Not the most talented contestant, but maybe Rising Star would’ve been a little more interesting if she’d advanced. (I voted “yes” — sue me!)
Grade: C+

Adam Jaymes, “I Won’t Give Up”
(advanced with 87% of votes, including all three judges)
He delivered Jason Mraz’s big hit with a ton of passion — but I would’ve liked a little more vocal precision, especially in the latter half of the performance. The fleet cadence of the bridge was not his strong point, either, it must be said.
Grade: B-

Megan Tibbits, “All of Me”
(rejected with 68% of the votes, including Kesha and Brad)
The show’s producers would obviously love a west-coast veto — to prove the show isn’t an exercise in futility for folks closer to the Pacific than the Atlantic. But honestly, girlfriend’s vocal had more heavy breathing than an obscene phone caller.
Grade: D+

What did you think of Episode 2 of Rising Star? How did it compare to Episode 1? Did anybody strike you as a future chart-topper? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Kim Moores says:

    The highest rating tonight was 87%…
    Last week they hit the 90s.
    That says all it needs to say. This show is just a way for proficient karaoke singers to live their dreams for a while.

  2. Catherine says:

    The only thing better about the second episode was that they got more singers on. The quality was not as good as the first and none of them seem up to other singing competitions such as The Voice. I have to wonder if part of the selection process is how much sympathy your life story elicits The only reason I’m watching is the voting app is fun. If it wasn’t for that, I’d have bailed after 30 minutes into episode 1. I will be interested to hear if the West Coast pulls the 1 and 2 percent singers through.

    • OMG says:

      Yes, the West Coast pushed both Shameia Crawford and Megan Tibbets past the 70% threshold. But I honestly think the East Coast voters sent both Shameia Crawford and Megan Tibbets through already, but the producers intentionally kept it just under 70%, so us West Coast voters feel we have a voice. Also, if the so called ‘experts’ have NO voting power at all, none of these acts would of have gone through? So just the voters or judges at home feel all these performances are just mediocre not worth sending to the next round. Yeah we have the power, what a sham and joke. Just from the decreased comments from week 1 to this week, put a fork in it. It’s well done.. lol

      • Catherine says:

        Thanks for the update. I suspected that would happen and I agree that it was pretty suspect that two performances worked out at those percentages. If they really wanted to give the West Coast some power, they could let them bring the wall down on anyone they did not vote through and nullify the East Coast & judges decisions. Now that would be entertaining. I’m waiting for the contestant that has no voice due to some horrific story and uses a computer program to sing. That should be automatic advancement! LOL

      • AGREED ! You are right about that. If that meter says 60% from home voters than one of those judges can push the meter up with their votes, which means its not really americas choice

  3. Kaba says:

    Everyone sucked.
    The end.

    • OMG The x factor had better trios and groups, which at the time I thought were awful trios and groups! But now I would say they were way more talented than these groups on rising star!

      • Jill Moy says:


        X Factor was actually entertaining….especially compared to this crap!

        I don’t like the judges on RS! Ludicrous is ok, but a lot of the time he has ludicrous (no pun intended) reasons for putting them through! But he’s superior to the 2 Stepford’s!

        • Jill I absolutely loved the x factor. Really entertaining as you said! And some were real performers like Ellona Santiago and Josh Levi! I was so mad when josh levi had to go home because of the pity votes on the crippled arms girl. I was furious! I thought he was a great singer and performer for 14 years old. I also loved their auditions! Remember Panda? LOL The big African American woman who brilliantly sang Sam Cook and then flirted with Simon! I loved her! She was sick and they took her away in an ambulance. That show was always interesting!

          • Jill Moy says:

            Yeah, I liked Panda! Allona was fantastic and what showmanship! She should have won! I loved her first audition…WINGS! She had the whole pkg!

      • Jill Moy says:


        Terrible groups…AWFUL, AWFUL!

        Also, I still think that 70% is barely passing! 90% should be the level to advance. We are looking for great talent, not a barely passing singer, which 70% is…….BARELY PASSING! Remember in school?

        • Oh Yes or at least 80 % to get through. I believe 70 % is not good enough also. Yes we must have some weird spiritual link! Its crazy!

          • Jill Moy says:


            80 %, I feel isn’t enough, considering judges votes! 90% might be too much but 85% would be fair to go through! But 70 % is ridiculous, especially if judges all vote yes! That would be 49% public vote!

            This show doesn’t need judges! Other than Luda, we have vegetables for judges! At least JLO had life in her and was enthusiastic. Kesha is the worst judge ever, on any show! She and Mr. Country have personalities of snails! They have no chemistry whatsoever. They need lessons from AGT judges! Even when they fool around it’s fun…always!

  4. Chris says:

    Painful. The last one? A car dying.

  5. America doesn’t really like the talent on this show. If you subtract the 14 per cent or 21 per cent of the votes cast by the not-judging, not-mentoring, not-useful panel, NONE of the contestants is getting better than a C- grade from America.

  6. Dee says:

    I feel as though the show has potential but it’s a little late joining in the singing competition show party. These types of shows just aren’t the ratings monsters they used to be 5 years ago. The Voice is doing well but other than that, A. Idol is long past its prime.

    I think in order for this show to be better, they first need to overhaul the judging panel. Ludacris is actually a damn good judge but Kesha and Brad are awful. Like horse manure awful. They need some judges who actually look like they wanna be there. Also, the singing talent are all too damn generic. There have only been a couple standouts in my mind that are memorable but the rest are just average or horrible.

  7. MichelleR. says:

    You and I will always be the song Randy Jackson labeled a bad (not well enough known) choice when Ms. Reinhart sang it, and then went on to be a huge hit for Lady Gaga.

  8. Jill Moy says:

    Oh God, April reminds me of miss MUMBLES, Jena Irene, especially looks wise! Another overrated no talent!

  9. big cheddar says:

    Definitely moved along faster this week. I’ll probably give it another week.

  10. Jill Moy says:

    Good lord, this Kesha is horrible…poor judge, and that wonderful NASAL VOICE, SIMPLY MAAAAVVVVVELOUS! I liked Paulina better on X Factor, and that says a lot! Go home Kesha!

  11. Jill Moy says:

    And we thought JLO was. bad! Kesha would say yes to a sick mule! She’d say, “I love that sound!”

    • OMG There are only 15 comments on this page! LOL cause no one cares about this show! There was always about 6-700 comments on AI comment sections! There was 119 comments last week and only 15 tonight! Michael might have to give up even having this comment blog cause next week only 2 people may comment here! LOL LOL LOL

      • Let me just say that its not michaels fault or tv lines fault that this show is somewhat horrible! Maybe it will get better. One more week of “the wall auditions” and then they have to sing against each other? God please I hope next week has better talent! LOL

  12. Jill Moy says:

    Horrible 1st episode had better talent! Nobody was good on this episode, nobody!

    • Jill, I just dont know where they are hunting for this “so called” talent? Its absolutely the worst ever! Where are they finding these people? Luda is the only good thing about the show at the moment!

      • Jill Moy says:


        I can’t even say they are going to karaoke venues to get the singers, as karaoke is much better… seriously!

      • What is going on with the girl singers lately? My favorite ever was Melinda Doolittle! I also liked Skyler and Holly, Elise, Allison etc. They just arent getting any FANTASTIC girl singers lately. For me anyway, not this year on idol, voice or rising star! X factor had a couple of good ones, but lately its crap! The male singers arent that great either, but if you pick through the bunch you might find “one” on each show! Lol I went back and looked at April on rising star! JUST TERRIBLE compared to Melinda Doolittle or Allison or Lily on x factor. April was so out of tune and was not hitting the notes. She looks like she has a sweet personality though, but that still doesnt cut it!

        • Jill Moy says:

          Yeah, I love Melinda best of all too! There aren’t many good singers these days! X Factor had a few! This show has Jesse! Check out Rolling Stones top 100 all time singers and top 100 guitarists! Several missing from both lists!

          Anyway, this show is so disappointing! I’m giving it a couple more weeks. If show still stinks, I’ll stop watchin’ it.

        • Jill Moy says:

          Comparing April to Melinda is like comparing the strength of a lion to the strength of a turtle! April stinks while Doolittle is superb!

  13. Colton Smith says:

    Austin French and April Lockhart deserves an “A”, great performances
    also was good : will roth

    • Yes I loved will roth! Didnt like the trio at all. Austin was good! I think Michael always gives the women higher grades. I have been watching that on his grading of singers!

      • So my favorites are Jesse from last week! He did a great job with “I put a spell on you” Very Good! and Will Roth has a great voice and is confident and seems to also have a good sense of humor!

        • Jill Moy says:

          It’s funny, when I first checked out comments, there were 7! AI had 200 at that point! I was gonna mention that on my comments but you did it for me…LOL! I LOVED JESSE last week! This week….ug! I slept through most of it and had to watch DVR later! Wish I hadn’t! Guy with beard woke me up! Are you and I have a spiritual link? I swear it’s true Becca! Wierd, to say the least!

          • Jill Moy says:

            Meant WEIRD…not wierd!

          • The spiritual link, almost seems like we are “one in the same” very freaky! I would love to know who you are some day! But I will never nag you about that like some of the other people did during the AI commenting!

    • Kaba says:

      Signs point to yes that your standards may be miserably low if you felt any of the performances tonight were A worthy

      • Jill Moy says:


        There’s a creep out here the said, he, or she would expose who I am! Luckily there weren’t any more comments on the last AI post, or RS 1st episode post! This person mentioned a couple things about me but nobody commented! I told this jerk to go ahead! Nothing yet.

        You will know some day, believe me!

  14. kcostell says:

    This just in: Next week the show will be renamed to “Falling Star”.

  15. Mary says:

    I couldn’t bring myself to watch after last week. Reading your recap I guess I didn’t miss anything. Maybe I will give it a shot when down to the finals but doubtful.

  16. OMG says:

    UPDATE: West Coast voted in Shameia Crawford & Megan Tibbits with over 70%, so both made it through.

  17. Friday says:

    “A comment from my barely-paying-attention husband: ‘This guy is a quote-unquote rising star because Kesha — for f—’s sake Kesha! — hit a button?!’”

    Exactly what Eric Church said in Rolling Stone — (though I think he used Blake Shelton).

  18. joey says:

    I like any singing competition that doesn’t have Jennifer Lopez. So, Rising Star gets 2 thumbs up for me.

    • Jill Moy says:


      Compared to JLO, Kesha is pitiful! Her terrible voice and idiotic comments, as well as adoring crap, makes her the worst judge ever! At least JLO made a lot of sense! She would never put through a singer because she resides or is from the same area!The country judge and Kesha are like stepford wives….it’s obvious they show no interest! At least Luda shows he is serious about judging!

  19. :( says:

    I actually enjoyed it. This show really isn’t that bad, heck I just love sliding the arrows

  20. Jared Munson says:

    I thought Deedra was a guy? Either way, defending our country – thanks!

    • Jill Moy says:


      I actually thought she was a guy until she started singing! Her story was tragic and at least she moved around! I respect her….too bad she wasn’t better! I hope the show helps her like the host promised!

  21. Yo says:

    Man, that was turrible television.

  22. Grace says:

    Shamela and Megan both made it through on the West coast wtih 71% and 70%, respectively.

  23. Ann VerWiebe says:

    This show is really dreadful! But, I can watch the app, tune in for exactly 30 seconds, vote and then move on. It feels bad to vote no – even when they’re awful – and the entire show has the feel of an Idol competition at the state fair.

    • Ann, You hit the nail on the head! Perfect. The State Fair! I can see it in my mind on one of those cheesy old movies and the talent just sucks! LOL LOL

      • Jill Moy says:


        This talent isn’t State Fair worthy! Maybe grammar school!

        AGT had a couple more great singers on Tuesday! Check out the forum on the goofy comedian on AGT! There are only 3 comments, all mine!