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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.