Jordan Smith, Macy Gray headline ‘American Song Contest’

American Song Contest
Hosts Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg presented the second episode of the American Song Contest. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

The American Song Contest entered its second week of competition!

Tonight, several familiar faces and rising artists joined the Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg hosted talent competition. Who rose above their competitors and earned the Jury qualifier vote? Read on to find out!

Author’s Note: Because it is a live music competition, grades were handed out.

After Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg made their entrance, they reminisced about the first week of the competition. They revealed that America voted for Alexa (Oklahoma), Michael Bolton (Connecticut), and Christian Pagán to advance to the semifinals. 

Oregon’s courtship. (Micah and Eli) kicked off American Song Contest’s second week. They opened for Weezer, and their music earned over 100 million streams. Their song is called “Million Dollar Smoothies.” I am not a fan of the song, and I would have buzzed them if I had a certain buzzer. 

Once Kelly Clarkson checked in with courtship, it was Montana’s Jonah Prill’s time to shine. The Billings rancher loves photography and has over 800 thousand TikTok followers. He performed in multiple venues across the state and even in Nashville. His song, “Fire It Up,” did not connect with me, and I felt the band drowned out Jonah.  

New Yorker Enisa represented the Empire State and represented Brooklyn. She took us to Rocky’s Pizzaria and to my old haunt of Times Square. She was named Billboard’s Next Big Sound and had countless TikTok supporters. Her song, “Green Light,” is an EDM smash that made me dance. Way to represent my adopted hometown! B+ 

Jocelyn represented Omaha, Nebraska, on the American Song Contest stage. I give her kudos for her work with Boys Town, and I loved hearing that she opened for Darius Rucker multiple times. Her song, “Never Alone,” moved me. B+/A- 

Cruz Rock represented the U.S. Virgin Islands in the American Song Contest. Cruz performed worldwide, and three of his music videos accumulated millions of views! He also has a tie to Jake’s Take as he collaborated with podcast guest Amara La Negra. His song, “Celebrando,” brought the heat I was looking for, and I had a massive smile throughout the performance. 

The Voice: Season Nine champion Jordan Smith is probably one of the best male vocalists discovered on Reality TV. He revealed that he was named a Kentucky colonel and wrote “Ashes” for Celine Dion. As always, Jordan delivered a fabulous vocal performance! A+ 

Chloe Fredericks represented North Dakota, and they have more cows than people. She is a fourth-generation cattle rancher and also has Native American roots. Tonight, she sang her song: “Can’t Make You Love Me.” I was amazed and impressed with the song. I love Chloe’s “Adele meets P!nk” voice. B+ 

Broderick Jones represented my home state of Kansas. His music has millions of views, and he chose “Tell Me” as his song to perform on the American Song Contest stage. I felt like I was at the Grammys or American Music Awards with that performance. He has a bright future. Thank you for making our home state proud, Broderick. A- 

Almira Zaky represented Virginia tonight. She is the first generation of Indonesian Muslim Americans, and she represents the DMV -> (Washington) D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Her friends nicknamed Almira – “The Virginia Princess of R&B.” Her song, “Over You,” transported me back to the 1990s and early 2000s. I believe that this song could be a hit on the radio and streaming charts. B+ 

King Kyote represented Maine on the American Song Contest stage. The native loves surfing and revealed that he performed with Taj Mahal and with a member of the Black Crowes. His song, “Get Out Alive,” brought rock music to the competition, but it took me a while to get used to his sound. I found the performance dull. 

The legendary Macy Gray concluded the evening with her single: “Every Night.” After a legendary introduction from the Miz, Macy Gray and her band, the California Jet Club, performed “Every Night.” It was a superb song that put a smile on my face. A-

The American Song Contest jury awarded JORDAN SMITH a spot in the semifinals!

Next week, a new group of performers hope to represent their state in the semifinals.

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar