Rising Star Recap: Get It Wall You Can

“I think it’s all about heart,” declared Ludacris, kicking off this week’s episode of Rising Star — and in the process, betraying a fundamental misunderstanding of why people enjoy reality-singing competitions. “America wants to know if you have heart!”

No, Luda, America wants to know if these contestants can sing in tune. (Spoiler alert: Most of them cannot!)

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In that same vein, we are not concerned with whether or not they’re wonderful parents. We could give a flying fig if their daily abdominal routines have prepared them to whip off their shirts for tips on the Sunset Strip (or out in the parking lot adjacent to Kesha’s SUV). And we don’t care if they’ve endured some sort of crippling personal loss — because that in itself doesn’t make you a pop star, it just makes you human.

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Then again, in the instance of tonight’s sole standout performer, Gabrielle Nicole, it’d be nice if you showed just a modicum of humility, didn’t come right out and tell the entire viewing audience that you’ve decided you’re the front-runner after a single, solitary performance. (For those of you who fast-forward through the filler, Gabrielle replied to host Josh Groban’s query about who she feared most in next week’s head-to-head battles by noting her competitors should worry about who’s winding up against her.) #GoodLuckWithThatStrategy

In all honesty, though, given the shocking shallowness of Rising Star‘s overall bench and the surge of awkward desperation from its judging panel — tell me I wasn’t the only one who wanted to crawl under the couch and turn to dust after Kesha asked chiseled triplet act TX3 to show her their torsos — maybe an early elimination is the greatest win of all.

Since I apparently am genetically programmed to watch any show that combines “singing” and “voting,” however, let me offer some letter grades for tonight’s singers, then pass the mic to you.

Dana Williams, “Stay”
(advanced with 87% of votes, including all three judges)
Her phrasing was stilted and her final set of runs were pretty grim, but she still managed to give my second-favorite performance of the night. Hurrah?
Grade: B-

Unselfish, “Some Nights”
(rejected with 46% of the votes, with only a “yes” from Kesha)
I won’t remember the barely-there harmonies, but that one dude’s rolled denim shorts? Etched in my brain forever, alas.
Grade: C-

Cliff Cody, “I’m Gonna Be Somebody”
(rejected with 49% of the votes, with only a “yes” from Brad)
Hopefully it’s not too late for him to resume his nursing career — and limit his singing to karaoke night with coworkers.
Grade: D+

Audrey Kate Geiger, Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”
(advanced with 84% of votes, including all three judges)
Ludacris insisted Audrey’s voice was “unique” while Brad compared her to “Macy Gray” — which makes me pretty certain the male judges were mentally compiling their grocery lists during the performance. I mean, Audrey sang mostly in tune, but her voice was as indistinct as a kernel in a bag of movie-theater popcorn.
Grade: C+

Oh.M.G., “Lights”
(rejected with 33% of the votes, with only a “yes” from Kesha)
Wouldn’t this duo’s name have been more accurate with a strategically placed “F” — a word I might’ve uttered when the male half briefly took over the solo line.
Grade: D

Gabrielle Nicole, “My Man”
(advanced with 90% of votes, including all three judges)
Dropped several choice soundbites before her performance — “I want the wall to raise as much as people want gas to go back to 99 cents a gallon,” Gabrielle kidded — and backed her confidence up with range, power and grit. Too bad she undid all that good will later in the show with an unbridled display of arrogance.
Grade: A-

Karen Hornsby, “To Love You More”
(advanced with 82% of votes, including all three judges)
When even the judges admit to voting “yes” because of your heartbreaking back story, then you know you’ve got some serious vocal work ahead of you.
Grade: D+

TX3, “Keep Your Head Up”
(rejected with 22% of the votes, with only a “yes” from Kesha)
Snap Poll: Would these fellas have raised the wall if they’d followed Kesha’s advice — and their prior formula for success — and removed their shirts? Second snap poll: How quickly would you have turned off your TV set had the triplets gotten in touch with their inner Chippendales?
Grade: F+ (+ earned for surviving Kesha’s sexual harassment with dignity)

Sky Griffin, “Only Girl in the World”
(rejected with 28% of the votes, with only a “yes” from Kesha)
Compared to some of the acts that’ve gone through, I thought Sky was actually kinda tolerable in spots. Without those cripplingly tight booty shorts cutting off her circulation, who knows what percentage of notes she’d have hit!
Grade: C

Morgan Higgins, “Alone”
(advanced with 79% of votes, including “Yeses” from Kesha and Ludacris)
Everything Morgan knows about music, she learned from watching Lea Michele on Glee.
Grade: C

What did you think of Episode 3 of Rising Star? Did Gabrielle’s cocky comment turn you off? Was there anyone other than Gabrielle you’d want to hear singing again? 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. Kaba says:

    Performing a banishment ritual to permanently remove the sound demon that is TX3 from my ears.

  2. Chris says:

    This is, without a word of embellishment, not even good karaoke. The fact that ANY one was put through tonight is probably laughable. I cant believe ive sat through 6 hours of this at this point. And the conceited “Standout” wasn’t even on tune, so lets not throw that word around…

  3. Dee says:

    A lot of average (and below average) performances tonight. As much as I loved Gabrielle who I think is fantastic, her comment was really a big turn off. If you think you’re the best, then why brag? Your performance should send that across, not your words. I think it was incredibly tacky and unecessary on her part. Being that she’s from Cleveland, that doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been living there for the past couple years and some Clevelanders have mighty big egos even when they’re not that great or talented, it’s pretty annoying. Humility goes a long way.

    • OMG says:

      12 comments. Every week less and less comments. Anyone even watching this train wreck? Judges chemistry is almost nada. I rather watch Sing Your Face Off than this karoke mess. At least Face Off was entertaining. I’m done with this.

    • Jill Moy says:


      I”m so glad a lot of us see G. Nicole as average, which she is at best! First half of her singing was laughable.

  4. No matter if some one searches for his essential thing, thus he/she
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  5. Diz says:

    I forgot all about this show already after week 1 since I took it off the DVR. Saw it skipping through the guide and tuned in briefly. Why the heck didn’t Brad have to sing behind the stupid wall?

  6. How are the ratings for this trainwreck?

  7. rebecca says:

    what does the chart w e stand for? what does w stand for and what does the e column stand for I understand when you hit 70 percent the person is in but what does the individual letters w and e stand for?

  8. jag says:

    i hope the wall wouldn’t work so no one get through. it just hurts me that Josh Groban was in this stupid show. I really don’t get putting the wall in front aside from the purpose of showing all the voters to the conditioners. And what a waste of production value. It might do wonders if you put the wall as back-draft and all the audience can see if the votes are coming up and who is voting. Meantime the conditioners are so confuse if they pass or not since their back is on the wall. Another thing, that stupid monitor where the judges swipe their 7 points vote is so ridiculous it made the panel even more stupid. Ohhh they cant copy the push buttons, the voice have already licensed it. Why not let the judges vote after the public voting stops. it will make a more dramatic moment rather than judges jumping, turning, standing like idiots just to show that they have voted. Jizzz … thanks i have already taken my meds.

  9. Joy LaBarr says:

    Hmmm well I did like Gabrielle’s performance, but she is wrong to be so cocky! Utter turn off! Plus there is someone from the first week she should be REAL nervous about!!!

  10. Jill Moy says:

    It gets worse and worse! Trash! Because G. Nicole can scream she’s good? Come on now! A-? Oh brother! So far Jesse is the only good singer!

    Eating goats tripe prepared by Granny of The Hillbilly fame, would be a bigger thrill than this show!

    How awful can a show get? Now, these terrible singers sing against each other? How exciting!

    Again, I’ll say, Kesha would vote for a mule or a kangeroo!

    • Hey Jill, This show is a complete joke! I was actually thinking they were saving the best auditions for last . I agree Jesse Kinch is the best! All the rest get an FFFF from me! F’s for everyone! Just think, if it werent for the judges pulling out their 7% vote, none of these people would have made it past 70%

    • Jill, and Jesse has the highest score so far 94%. Only reason I might keep watching, but I will have to fast forward through all of the bad performances which is what I did tonight.

      • Jill Moy says:

        BECCA, Well most people who watched AI aren’t watching this tripe! Last new episode of AGT had some outstanding singers!

        I sure hope they cancel this mess! They need Kesha and Country boy gone! Ludas is ok as a judge! The host is boring as well!

  11. OMG says:

    Anyone even watching this train wreck? Judges chemistry is almost nada. I rather watch Sing Your Face Off than this karoke mess. At least Face Off was entertaining. I’m done with this hot mess. Oh and please have Kesha go home, she and Brad are useless.

    • I an really afraid for the embarrassment factor for ABC network! Are these people playing with a full deck of cards? Or are they six cans short of a six-pack? THIS IS ABSOLUTELY THE WORST SINGING COMPETITION EVER. Sing Your Face off was entertaining! I would even watch Duets before this crappy show.

  12. Colton Smith says:

    i have to addmit this time , an awful night, no one stand out even the arrogant gabriella wasn’t that good, i can’t believe they could find one decent act for the whole night


    • Jill Moy says:


      BEST SHOW! The only good singer so far is Jesse from 1st episode! To each their own, but your taste is questionable!

      Watch AGT! THERE HAS BEN MANY FABULOUS SINGERS! 11 year old Mara Justine will blow away any of these singers on your so called wonderful show!

      • Colton Smith says:

        jesse is an amazing singer but there were also great singers: april,macy kate,austin french

        • And Y’ALL think maneepat and Lisa punch were good? I did their my favs. You gotta admit all the singer’s who went through weren’t bad and you can improve mediocre

        • Jill Moy says:


          Nobody has been great! Even Jesse wasn’t great! Great is Melinda Doolittle, Megan Hilty, 11 year old Mara Justine, 15 year old Julia Goodwin, just to mention a few! Streisand is Great, not these clowns!

      • Just stick around they will get mentored by 4 people, they will get better, this is just auditions, every single one who made it through has potential… you just heard them for a minute and 30 seconds

        • Jill Moy says:


          You are entitled to your opinion but I feel only Jesse is capable! I, myself can tell in 10 seconds if a singer has it! I have predicted winners of shows based on 10 seconds!

          Listen to 11 year old MIRA JUSTINE who is 11 yrs. old! She was on AGT recently! She is great, much more so than any RS singer! Also on You Tube she sings a song at 10 years old to win a singing contest at her church! She blows you away!

          Auditions are plenty long to judge a singers capability! For instance, Doolittle’s first few seconds on AI, you knew she was great!

          These singers stink! Punch and G. Nicole sing high notes, but not very well! When people hear high notes, they go crazy, thinking they are wonderful singers! Not so! This talent isn’t very good and there are no future stars! Possibly Jesse….THAT’S IT!

          Again, think what you want but I’ve never heard singers this bad at karaoke!

      • Jill Moy says:


        Repeat on AGT on July 8 you can catch 15 year old Julia Goodwin a fantastic singer who can blow away any of the RS singers! Take a listen then tell me these horrible singers are good!

    • Grace says:

      Unselfish actually made it on a technicality

    • Jill Moy says:

      TX3 chart toppers? Maybe on the planet Pluto! All these singers are sub-par crap!

  14. Adrian says:

    I actually think the pacing of the show is better but this week is filled with lots of garbage fillers. It will help to add one or two more acts, instead of hearing how Ludacris made his first record deal. The show is about singing right? Gabrielle is a bit cocky, which is a bad strategy to win votes, but to give her credits, she is the only singer that will turn some chairs on the Voice. Her voice is unique and you don’t think about Barbara Streisand when you hear her sing this song. She is possibly right, as she is definitely a front runner now but one song is not enough to tell me if she is a future pop star. But anyone going against her in the “duet” round (basically battles) will possibly not be too happy. Some of the singing is really not memorable. I admitted that I voted yes to Karen Hornsby because since many of the people that they let through were not that great, and why not make a happy July 4th story.

    Next week is battle round, and I presume that people will vote for the better singer out of the pair. Seven more weeks to go!

    • Debbie M. says:

      I don’t see Gabrielle as a future pop star at all. Broadway chorus line at best.

      • Jill Moy says:


        No way will she EVER be on Broadway, in any way, shape or form! She isn’t a good singer by any standards. Broadway isn’t for diva wannabes!

    • Jill Moy says:


      A FRONT RUNNER? IN HER WANNABE DIVA DREAMS! She wasn’t good at all! She should only be like Streisand, possibly the greatest singer ever!

  15. I think it’s quite idiotic to judge a singer’s merit by if you like their personality or not
    Gabrielle was nowhere near as good as Barbra, but for her vocal flaws and shortcomings, she did an ok job.

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  18. MichelleR. says:

    This show finally broke me. Oddly, it was after Gabrielle Nicole, who was better than most. I realized I was losing the ability to feel joy or hope. I just couldn’t. 2 and 1/2 episodes, and the amount of entertainment couldn’t fill a thimble.

    I must now delete the app, so that they can stop begging me to come vote.

  19. Meggie says:

    Dana, Audrey Kate, Gabrielle, and Morgan were all very good singers. The show and the judges are not great but all four of these should be B+ to A. Everyone here seems to be determined to give negative comments regardless of the talent exhibited.

  20. Maybe its because I don’t watch Glee but I was really impressed with the beginning of Morgan’s song, It was magical. Then she kind of lost that quality, but I still thought she did a good job. In addition, I thought Unselfish, while far from perfect, had a beautiful and unique sound with a flavor of Island music.

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  22. Ginny says:

    Gabrielle Nicole’s comment was a definite turn off. Very conceited and tacky. No class. It will be ‘red arrows’ from now on from me and my many family members and friends.

    • Jill Moy says:


      To top this all off about G. Nicole, she wasn’t even that good! I was laughing during the first half of her singing! She was awful! After all her diva and bragging talk, I was hoping she’d not go through!

      I felt her score should have been a C….TOPS! She screams a little and people think she’s wonderful! Her tone wasn’t very good either!

  23. Terry says:

    Kesha is a f-cking joke! Some of the cr-p she gives a yes to is embarrassing. They could have a monkey in that chair instead of her and it would be a vast improvement.

    • Jill Moy says:


      Great comment! I’ll say it again, a mule or a kangaroo would get a yes from Kesha! She is awful!

      A monkey would be wiser, indeed! Mr. Contry singer isn’t much better!

  24. Grace says:

    Unselfish made it through on a contngency vote. any preliminary predictions for the frist round of Duels?

    Jesse Kinch vs. Will Roth

    Sarah Darling vs. Megan Tibbits

    Lisa Punch vs. Alice J. Lee

  25. Jill Moy says:

    The pride for the winner should be a job as a karaoke host! Jesse was great! My opinion, there hasn’t been any other standouts! This bragging Miss Nicole won’t go anywhere! The 1st half of her singing was horrible and the rest average! A- is absurd for the wannabe diva! There are millions of singers like her…just average!

  26. Jill Moy says:

    Last comment, meant PRIZE, not pride, should be a karaoke host!

  27. Jill Moy says:

    Unselfish should have left! The person with the highest vote total in all the shows should have got a bye in the 1st round and 18 could sing off! Unselfish was terrible, strictly garbage! Where did this group of singers come from (all the shows)?

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  29. Chris says:

    I know this is off-topic, but why isn’t there a recap column for “Reckless”, but there is a recap column for this terrible “American Idol” rip-off?

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