From twelve songwriters, we have dwindles down to three: Scotty, Jes, and Sonyae. It is still pretty surprising that Nick is not around, despite how repetitive his songs tend to sound.
Scotty thinks Sonyae is his biggest competition for her lyrics. Sonyae thinks Scotty is her competition. Jess thinks she has better melodies and key changes.
This week’s challenge: write your biggest hit. They have two days to write and then they will go into the studio with a band, backup singers, and experienced exec Evan “Kidd” Boggart to record. Then they will perform in front of “industry insiders.”
Sonyae struggles because she doesn’t play an instrument and can’t find inspiration. Religion maybe? (For some reason she goes to ask Scotty for advice. He doesn’t love it because he has issues with religion.) Or Capacity? (He likes this one better.) Evan likes the title “Love You Like My Religion” but she struggles on the religion.
Jes starts writing about her last relationship who she stills cares for. He doesn’t see his potential… (I think her life is so much less inspirational than everyone else.) She is advised to connect to others instead of being so interior–how can everyone relate to it?
Scotty meanwhile wishes for some boundaries. After talking to Sonyae, he thinks about religion and being shunned for being gay, which gets him very emotional. Scotty’s has the strongest positive feedback but he needs to make sure to “go there.”
They work out the kinks in their studio session. Sonyae’s is particularly impressive, considering that she came in with no actual music.
The guest judge for the finale is Leona Lewis. The room is crowded but most exciting for the contestants is their parents.
Up first is Jes with “Come Alive.” You can see Nick incredulous and Jackie supportive. The judges are nodding along (as is Johnny) which is all that really matters.
Scotty is second with “Beautiful You.” His song makes the judges smile with more head bopping.
Finally comes Sonyae with her song “My Religion.” It’s a very Beyonce song.
Now for the judging:
Jes is told her lyrics are her strongest yet. Leona thinks it has a lot of crossover appeal. Very commercial and melodic though Keith Naftali thought the “Come Alive” concept was okay. Jewel shows some ways she could tweak it even more.
Scotty‘s song had great sentiment. Jewel would have liked more streamlining. But it is a great melody and he has become contemporary. Naftali calls him the maestro of melody. It felt too similar to “Just the Way You Are” though.
Sonyae had yet another great concept, which is her strength. It was sing-a-long-able. Melodically, she is not the strongest contestant. They wanted the chorus to go up, as Kara demonstrates.
(This is some of the best judging we have seen all show. The judges demonstrated the improvements and the songs sounded better with their stronger voices too.)
Once they talk without the contestants they decide Jes has the most crossover appeal, Sonyae has the most sophisticated concepts, and Scotty is a melody machine and key collaborator. (PS- while Jewel looks the best she has looked all season, Kara looks ridiculous in a shiny maroon suit.)
Time to find out the winner. Scotty is booted out first (with kind words from all on his future). The winner is…Sonyae. (Once it was down to her and Jes there was little chance of another outcome.)