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Jesse Kinch continues to shine during “Rising Star” Top Eight

And, then there were eight!

Jesse Kinch continued to slay the "Rising Star" stage with another amazing performance.
Photo property of ABC

Tonight, Rising Star’s top eight artists sang their hearts out for a coveted spot in next week’s semifinals! Who brought their A-game? Did the artists gain the five-percent assistance vote from Brad Paisley, Kesha and Ludacris? Read on to find out…

Up first to face America tonight was Joshua Peavy! The youth pastor tackled the Guess Who’s “American Woman.” We are at the quarterfinals and his cover did not impress me within the very first bars. Joshua did not display the passion that a singer needs to perform this song and it seemed like a horrible cover! D+

Dana Williams was last week’s West Coast save! This week, she tackled Christina Perri’s “Human.” Already, she faced the challenge of going up against a song that was brilliantly covered on another TV show by another impeccable underdog (Idol’s Jessica Meuse). While I did said “Yes” because of the awesome opening, it seemed that Dana was singing through her nose during the middle and end of the song. So, Idol 1—Rising Star: 0. C-

There is one contestant that I have always had mixed feelings about in this competition…and that is April Lockhart! Sometimes, she had great performances and abysmal presentations, but she made it through to the next round. However, I thought that her luck was going to run out when she tackled “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Cyndi Lauper would be appalled by April’s appalling take on her anthem! The arrangement was horrible and she was very screechy throughout her performance. F

One of my all-time favorite songs is Sir Elton John’s classic “Your Song.” It has been a staple on Reality TV shows for years. However, no one has been able to match Heather Headley’s tour-de-force cover of Elton’s tune. As for Maneepat Molloy, she was the first artist tonight to give me the chills! Her tone was beautiful and delivery was priceless. Brava, Maneepat and screw you, Brad and Luda! A

Aubrey Kate Geiger took a huge risk and tackled one of the Piano Man’s signature songs: “New York State of Mind”! I am glad that she showcased her softer part of her vocal register and delivered a pitch perfect performance! I would be very surprised if she does not make it to the finale. A-

As April headed to the red seat of doom and the wall went down, the newlywed Austin French took the stage! There are songs that you simply do not touch in singing competitions and “The House of Rising Sun” is one of them. Haley Reinhart will always own this song and Austin’s cover was just subpar! D

With April’s elimination, it was Maneepat’s turn to sit in the hot seat! Shameia Crawford went for Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper” It was a horrible song choice on her part, but she delivered an okay vocal performance. It is a shame that we are going to miss hearing Maneepat’s voice in the semifinals…save her, West Coast! D+

The show’s resident rocker, Jesse Kinch, closed the quarterfinals with “Money (That’s What I Want)” and he immediately transported the show to his rock concert. His flawless vocals blew me away and he continued his streak of raising the wall! All I know for sure….is that there is one spot already claimed in this finale…and that goes to Jesse Kinch. A+

Next week, the Final Six sing for their lives and for a spot in the finale!