“Rising Star” Contestant Sonnet Simmons Saved by West Coast

Separated by only three voting points during the initial broadcast, both Lisa Punch and Sarah Darling seemed to be in serious contention for last week’s save.

The battle came down to the wire, but Punch, who received slightly less support during the live broadcast, received a fractionally larger share of the west coast vote. She advanced to the quarterfinals alongside Duel winners Alice Lee, Megan Tibbits and Jesse Kinch.

This week’s race for the save was considerably less suspenseful.

With 73% of the vote during the live broadcast, Sonnet Simmons received 24% more support than Gabrielle Nicole and 17% more than Adam Jaymes. Insofar as vote totals during the tape-delayed west coast airing tend to align closely with those during the live airing, it seemed a given that she would score the week’s backdoor into the quarterfinals.

Sure enough, Simmons did earn the right to advance to the next round. She was still less popular than duel opponent April Lockhart (who won the head-to-head battle with 76% during the live airing and earned the same total from the west coast), but she remained the audience’s wildcard selection.

Gabrielle Nicole, whose 49% trailed the 80% earned by Duel opponent Macy Kate on the live broadcast, only earned 51% from the west coast. Kate again earned 80%.

Adam Jaymes, whose 53% was no match for the 81% earned by Austin French during the live broadcast of their Duel, scored 56% of the west coast vote. Although he was not as popular as he was during the first broadcast, French still won his Duel with 79%.

Because eliminated contestant Sarah Darling actually received more of America’s vote than Duel competitor Megan Tibbits, last week’s “Rising Star” sparked debate about the impact of the experts’ 7% vote at this stage of the competition. Had even one expert voted “no” to Tibbits (or one additional expert voted “yes” to Darling), Darling would have advanced to the quarterfinals.

That debate is a moot point this week. Gabrielle Nicole, who lost to Macy Kate, actually received votes from all three experts this week. Macy Kate only received support from two of them.

Both Sonnet Simmons and April Lockhart scored support from the entire panel, and winning support from Ludacris, the sole holdout, would not have given Adam Jaymes enough votes to beat Austin French.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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