‘Rising Star’ premiere review: Macy Kate, Jesse Kinch, Sarah Darling take night 1

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Rising Star -Tonight, ABC decided to lift the veil on “Rising Star,” the ambitious new singing competition featuring real-time voting, judges, feedback, and so much more.

Was this idea really cool? Sure, and there were parts of the production that we really liked. Ludacris in particular was a good judge, and Josh Groban is close to amazing at everything. The problem mostly comes down to the singers: The majority of them were awful. There were a tiny sample of decent performers stretched over two hours, and for a show to be called “Rising Star” there needs to be some actual stars mixed in there. We’d say that the top three we’ve listed below worked, and nobody else did.

Acts sent home

Daniel & Olivia, “Counting Stars’ - This was horrendous. They only got 6% of the vote, and it felt like this show really wanted a version of Alex & Sierra. They failed at it. We would rather not have the exposure than get a 6%.

Beyond 5, “Wake Me Up” - If they got a lead singer without helium in his voice, they may have been good. The effort was there. The bummer for the show is that they probably wanted this group to be really good so they would have a One Direction.

Colin Huntley, “Sing” - It’s an Ed Sheeran karaoke guy. Nothing more here, nothing less.

Summer Collins - She was just shaky. There’s no better way to say it other than nerves probably got to her. We feel like in the right setting, she probably is a decent performer. She’s just more intimate venue than big singing competition.

Acts advancing (in order from worst to first, in our opinion)

6. Joshua Peaby, “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” - Generic guy with a generic voice with a generic song. To be fair, this is the sort of guy who wins many singing shows. The twist here is that this same guy also ends up going nowhere once it ends.

5. Maneepat Myra Molloy, “Con Te Partiro” - This is like watching a gentle stream. It’s interesting for a few seconds, but there is nothing really that exciting or strong about it. The tone and the lyricism in her voice are too gentle. She barely made it through to the next round.

4. Lisa Punch, “How Will I Know” - Our favorite Whitney Houston song, and we give her credit for at least trying. However, this format exposes in a way the nerves of some of these contestants having to come on TV for the first time in front of the world live. Serious pitch problems.

3. Sarah Darling, “Merry Go Round” - A very good singer. We don’t know if there is a huge set of pipes on her, but she has a genuine storyteller’s voice. She’s also recorded music and been in the business for a while, so she should in theory be good at this show.

2. Macy Kate, “Me and My Broken Heart”  – This whole Instagram – sitting in the audience thing feels a little bit convenient, and the quality of her submission along with her verified Twitter account suggests to us that she’s a little more polished than they led us believe. She is good, though, and this competition definitely needs that.

1. Jesse Kinch, “I Put a Spell on You” - The first person on the show who we felt was actually a good singer, and he looked like the love child of Harry Styles and Mick Jagger. This is the sort of guy who could end up being a contender on this show, at least if it lasts long enough for him to be a contender.

This show is, in the end, a rather big mess. We really like the idea, but there are so many other problems within this (mostly the talent) that nothing else matters. Grade: D+.

What did you think about the “Rising Star” premiere, and did you find it a little more worthwhile than we did? Share your thoughts in the comments, and head over here to get some further news worth singing about via our CarterMatt Newsletter.

Photo: ABC

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