Rising Star: “That’s What the West Coast is For”

Brad Paisley, Kesha, and Ludacris are ready to pass judgment on the next Rising Star contestant.
Rising Star (Photo: Eric McCandless / ABC)

Rising Star Week 2 Audition — The talent level is not quite as strong as last week’s debut, but we do get a sense of where this competition is going and if the West Coast voting actually makes a difference.

As I predicted last week, ABC listened to many of the initial criticisms lobbed at its summer competition series Rising Star and made several fixes in time for the second episode. Host Josh Groban opened the show almost with a sense of urgency, moving on to the evening’s first contestant within two minutes (compared to last week’s 12). The show also axed the interviews that took place between the contestant package and the performance, as well as the conceit of the contestants not knowing who would be performing next. No planted acts contestants were plucked from the audience, and the show moved along at a fairly good clip.

This week also featured not one but two west coast reprieves. Shameia Crawford, an aspiring musician who opened the show, scored only 69% with her performance of “We Are Young” by fun. Although all three judges supported Shameia, she barely qualified with a 71% in the delayed airing. The final act of the night, harpist Megan Tibbits, failed to qualify on the East Coast with a score of only 68%. She got in with a 70% on the West Coast, despite not getting a yes vote from Ludacris. Once again, there was not much variation in voting between airings, though female trio Trinitii did get a major boost in the second airing scoring 35% instead of 30%. At present 14 acts have advanced with one more week of auditions to go before battle rounds begin.

Some other random observations from the second episode or Rising Star:

  • You know those banal tweets that most shows plaster on the lower-third of the screen? Those have been pushed to the app as screen filler during commercial breaks. I whole-heartedly support this and hope other shows follow suit if show-specific apps become a thing.
  • The Queen for a Day stories are out of control on this show. Just last night we had a woman who was born in Greece because her mom was part of a cult there, a former professional baseball player who was blinded by a returned hit while in college, and a former military member whose house burned down while she was in pre-production for this show. Only one of these contestants advanced.1 It wouldn’t bother me so much if it weren’t for the fact that Kesha and Brad Paisley have said more than a few times that they voted for someone because they liked their story even though there were bad notes within the performance. What is the end-goal here?
  • Although voting participation is still high—Groban said the show had received over 3 million votes last night midway through the episode—I’ve been noticing some repeat faces on the wall. I’m not sure what to read into that. This could mean that minors are a significant portion of the voting population or a significant number of adults did not opt-in to allowing their faces to be shown. Perhaps there is a bug in the algorithm used by the show. I don’t think there’s an ulterior motive or chicanery afoot—I just think it’s weird.
  1. and I did not agree with that decision, but whatevs.  

A Brief Word From Our Sponsors:

About Mike McComb 1225 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv