It seems like it’s been awhile since a rocker won a singing competition on TV, but that’s what happened last night when Jesse Kinch won the premiere season of ABC’s “Rising Star.” The show, in its first season, was unique in that it featured a live audience voting via social media to decide who moved on, while the “judges” essentially made suggestions to the audience. Last night’s finale featured three duels before naming Kinch as the winner. Here’s how it went down:
The finale kicked off with two showdowns between the final four of Jesse Kinch, Dana Williams, Austin French, and Audrey Kate Geiger. The first duel was between Kinch and Williams. Williams sang a version of Etta James’ “At Last,” earning a 30% yes vote. Kinch came roaring out of the gate with Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” hitting a wildly high 87% yes vote and beating Williams to move on.
Watch Dana Williams sing Etta James’ “At Last”:
Watch Kinch crush “Fortunate Son” to advance to final duel:
In the next duel it was Geiger and French facing off. French sang Gavin Degraw’s “In Love with a Girl,” earning 70% yes vote. Geiger sang “Love Me Like A Man,” but with only a 49% yes vote it was not enough to beat French.
Watch Austin French tackle Gavin Degraw to advance:
Watch Audrey Kate Geiger’s final “Rising Star” performance:
With the two men making it to the final duel it was time for one more sing-off to decide a winner. French sang The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Bless the Broken Road,” while Kinch channeled The Who with “Love Reign O’er Me.” This time, the voting was blind until both were finished singing, but when the results were in Kinch outshined French 76% to 61% to win “Rising Star.”
Watch French go out with “Bless the Broken Road”:
Watch Jesse Kinch win “Rising Star” with “Love Reign O’er Me”:
Fans will have to wait and see if ABC will bring back “Rising Star” for a second season or if host Josh Groban or judges Ludacris, Kesha, and Brad Paisley will return for future seasons. The show premiered to 5.20 million viewers, but had fallen to 3.22 million by the semifinals episode. For Kinch, at least, the show was a rocker’s dream come true.
What did you think of the first season of “Rising Star?” Tweet your thoughts to Ja9GarofaloTV.