Rap Battles

Bravotv.com's Editors explore the apparent sex appeal of hipster rap.

Yo, yo, yo the rap episode has arrived. You know you've been waiting to hear the contestants' floetry (particularly Melissa's), and this episode certainly didn't disappoint. Also it appears that John Mayer's cousin (aka Johnny) is going to be a force to be reckoned with this season. Maybe it's just the power of love...

Hottest New Dress

Damn, Jewel! Our hostess/judge wasn't joking around this week when she whipped out that little black frock. Everyone's jaw hit the ground the moment she entered the room. In fact she was met with such raucous applause that she had to say, "Stop, enough about me." But clearly that was one of those "Oh stop (but actually keep going)" moments. Work it, girl!

No. 1 Question

Why didn't they introduce Rodney Jerkins as Darkchild? I was kind of hoping he'd walk in to the intro of Say My Name (you know the part where it goes Dark-cha-na-na, say my name, say my name?). Oh well. But that's one seriously intimidating guest judge. Johnny phrased it best: "He's the ish. Now there's a real danger of coming off like a douche tool."

No. 1 Whitest Rapper

While Johnny may sound like "John Mayer's cousin rapping" to Nick, the undisputed winner of this category was Jackie. And while her line, "I wanna be a super duper rapper, but as it still stands, I'm still a cracker," made a strong case for the title, it was her little robot dance at the end that sealed the deal.

Biggest Jump on the Romance Charts

In the span of two episodes the Jes and Johnny romance went from timid flirting and innocent hand holding to full on making out. Evidently watching Johnny spit some rhymes in his super awkward/endearing and totally hipster style really rubbed Jes the right way. That wedding reception will most definitely be held at the Gowanus Yacht Club.

No. 1 Reason for Being a Nurse

None of the judges seemed pleased with Amber's performance this week, from her lyrics to her responses to criticism. It was pretty clear she was going home once Kara said she sounded more like a nurse than a songwriter in her explanation of why she should stay in the competition. But hey, maybe she can be a nurse/songwriter and produce calming music for hospitals?

Biggest Jump on the Unpopularity with Fellow Contestants Chart

Nick seems incredibly determined to take the "I'm not here to make friends" attitude to new levels. While he's made it abundantly clear that he's not a fan of Jackie (or her wordiness), he managed to stir the pot just enough to have everyone in a tizzy about who's been throwing shade at Jackie.

And next week it doesn't look like Nick and Jackie are feeling the love when they're paired together for the love song challenge. But then again you always hurt the one you love, right?

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The Write Girl

Kara explains why Sonyae was the winner and what each songwriter brought to the final challenge.

First off, I am so proud of the growth that Sonyae, Scotty, and Jes made over the course of the show. If I were in their shoes starting out, I don't know if I would have been able to take the pressure of the episode challenges. This was a writing boot camp and the strongest (with the exception of Johnny) definitely survived. Their diligence, team work, and commitment to learning is what landed them in the final three. Their songs were fantastic this week, and I believe they all have careers ahead of them in music.

The Winner ---- When we first met Sonyae, we knew she had a gift for lyrics and concepts, which is one of today's most important components to hit songs. But, she was seemingly at a disadvantage because she didn't play an instrument and I wasn't sure how that would translate during the course of the competition. Thankfully we began to see that Sonyae is musical. She knows what chords fit her melodies and that's why she was able to win this competition. Many topliners don't play an instrument but they are responsible for some of the biggest hits out there today. Their voices are their instrument and they sing what they feel and hear in their heads. Her melodies always came from an emotional place and I think that is why she really impressed us as well. She consistently delivered week to week. She would be an asset in any room of writers in any genre. For me, she is a force to be reckoned with and I think we will be seeing a Sonyae song on an album any day now.

And then there's Scotty who was stuck in adult contemporary ballad land when we first met him. During the course of the show, he figured out how to make more contemporary tracks and teamed up with people that pushed him to be younger, more rhythmic, and hipper. His melodic sensibility was always there, he just needed to put it on top of modern tracks. He also started scrutinizing his lyrics more during the season and that culminated in his best work, "Beautiful You." That song is a great personal anthem and I want to commend him for really speaking about such an emotional and personal subject and yet making it so universal.

Lastly Jes, a singer-songwriter with a beautiful voice and passion for writing. When she first started out she would often get lost in her own piano world. Her songs were very niche and her melodies (while lovely) fit her voice more than they did the voices of other artists. Over the competition, she really learned how to condense her songs and make every part of them meaningful. She too has a gift for emotion in her melodies and by the end of the season was writing lyrics that could match the power of her music. "Come Alive" was a brilliant melodic piece of work.

I found it very interesting that all three contestants pulled from their own life stories when they were faced with creating the biggest hit of their lives. We encouraged them from the beginning to always come from an honest place. I don't think it's a coincidence that these were some of their strongest songs. Great writers will tell you their best material came from their real life experiences -- that's the inspiration part of a song, which is so crucial to making it great. The other part is craft, which we spent a lot of time discussing on the show. Hopefully all the contestants feel they are better writers because of the show. If they do, then we all did our jobs.

Good luck to them all. We are rooting for 'em!

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