Cast Blog: #PLATINUMHIT

You Only Got One Second to Save the Song

Hip Hip Sonyae!

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The Write Girl

Sonyae Elise: Platinum Hitmaker

Sticking With You

Dare to Suck

DJ Have My Babies

It's Poppin'

I Like The Way You Move

On Pause

The Exorcist

Reign Over Me

Nice Guys Finish Last

When Egos Collide

The Word is Hubris

Like a Tohn of Bricks

A Safe Bet

Sincerely Yours

10 Things I Love About You

All You Need Is Love

Dr. Jekyll and Melissa Hyde

Lovin' It

Not Hot

Clever Girl

Rap Battles

Join the Love-Fest

The Weakest Link

I Get Chills

Speak And Spell

A Place of Truth

Straight to the Vein

Panic at the Disco

Keep It Simple Stupid

Sicker Than the Remix

Get Loose

Setting the Bar

30 Minutes or Less

I Write the Songs

On the Hook

You Only Got One Second to Save the Song

Two of our Bravo Editors do their own collabo, swapping off recap-writing duties for the first episode.

Music lovers, lend us your ears. Go ahead and press play on our thoughts on the inaugural episode of Platinum Hit presented to you in the form of a Billboard chart.

No. 1 Guest Appearance by a Canine

We begin by meeting our contestants. The band of merry songwriters contains a good range of musicians. There's our alterna-type (Nick has a mohawk and he sings from the nasal), a Rihanna type (Sonyae), an earthy Hawaiian -- but there's one guy that really stood out: Tommy! Personally I think that golden retriever is going to write some delightful ditties. We kid, we kid! He's Blessing's seeing-eye dog, which is great, because we don't want anything impeding Blessing's Stevie Wonder-style cooing. His voice is so sweet!

No. 1 Reissue: "Candle in the Wind"

Oh sweet, Nevin. Nevin has a heart of gold. "I sing for the widow, I sing for the orphan, I sing for the person in this world that doesn’t have much of a voice," says Nevin. But apparently Elton John already sang for those widows and orphans, because his hook for the 30 minute Los Angeles songwriting challenge is eerily close to "Candle in the Wind." It's a pretty unfortunate way to come out of the gate, because what will your future teammates think -- or is it? If he can channel Elton John so easily maybe he's just itching to write a new version of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." Let's keep it optimistic! 

The rest of the hooks ran the gamut from understated and mellow to earworm-central. Whether you "Love It or Hate It" you have to admit that Sonyae's song invaded your psyche and set up permanent residence. Or was that just us? We did get a little confused and hungry with Karen's "Southern Spice" metaphor, but that guitar was pretty rocking (literally did you see that bling?!).

Climbing the Elvis Impersonator Charts

Is Brian Judah Elvis? He was conceived the week the king died. Those childhood photos do look they could have been taken at Graceland. And when he shaves there are some "similarities to his face." Let's see what chart position that one shoots up to as our show rolls on.

Top "Rain Man" Alternative

After the hook challenge the gang splits up into teams -- kickball-style (that's Johnny "FFK" Marnell's analogy). The hook challenge winners get to pick their co-writers to create a full song with.

Let's talk for a second about Melissa Rapp. She was chosen last! Why? Her Hawaiian vibe is so delightfully off-kilter. We beseech you to reference these lyrics from her hook "Back to my place on the west side / Open a nice bottle of red wine." Sure, why not? I'll drink your Chai latte as you tune your keyboard (or whatever it was you might have been doing) for an inordinate amount of time and then churn out a smooth, silky verse about going home. Yup, twist! Someone churned out quite the little jam after those ADD moments. We find your "Aloha" vibes relaxing and disorienting. We like. We think.

The rest of the songwriting process was rather smooth. . . except for the Nevin, Brian, and Scotty collabo. When Nevin said Jewel would love a trite lyric because she was a country artist we got a little worried. She wasn't country back in the '90s, Nevin. Don't act like you didn't lock yourself in your bedroom and listen to "Foolish Games" everyday for three weeks (Editor's Note: not that Kim did that).

Most Solo-est Performance

Then came time for the songwriters to perform their would be-hits. And not only were the lovely Jewel and Kara DioGuardi judging, but friend of Bravo -- Jermaine Dupri (Nene Leakes has called him a munchkin and he still loves us). While the first performance had Nick name checking his band ("they've got his back"), Sonyae's "solo" performance instantly topped the ballsy charts. Performing in her signature sunnies (she's worn them twice now), without her band was a sharp contrast and the song had become perhaps even more frantic than her acapella hook performance. Jermaine seemed to think it was more "so so deaf" than "so so def" (big distinction) and took too long.

But the muddled "No One Again" alienated everyone, particularly Jermaine Dupri -- he throws songs out the window (he said "If I'm on my Blackberry and that song is out the window," industry terminology). In the end Nevin's crimes against clichés were most punishable, and he's off down his own Yellow Brick Road to the next endeavor.

And where Hawaii 5-0/Rain Man and her team came from with "City of Dreams?" We're liking Jackie's Sheryl Crow-esque inflections. And we think Johnny's a dreamboat. So here's to that  dream team sticking together.

Next week the dance floor deity Donna Summer graces us with her presence and the gang struggles to write something that's got the suggestiveness of "Love to Love You Baby." Oh brother.

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!