Rising Star Wins Brad Paisley’s Approval

Here is everything I know about Jesse Kinch, who just won the very first season of Rising Star on Sunday (Aug. 24) night: blah, blah, blah, blah — and he’s not country at all.

So I wasn’t really cheering for his win. I’m happy for him, don’t get me wrong. I just get a little biased during reality shows and only want the country singers to win.

(Although, I did love Kinch’s gritty cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son.” Sometimes a good classic rock song can sound pretty country.)

Despite my own personal biases, Brad Paisley seemed to be much more open-minded throughout the show’s premiere season. He voted yes for Kinch all but one time. And in a recent story in Billboard magazine , it sounds like that time it was just a matter of the song choice underwhelming Paisley.

“When he was in the middle, he sang ‘Money,’ which was a song the Beatles covered, and I felt like that’s a tired cover,” Paisley said. “I just kept saying, ‘When you’ve got your album, I want you to think about that red arrow. When you release a single, red arrow. Next single, red arrow. Is this a red arrow or a blue arrow? Is this going to raise the wall or not?’ For me, that was one of the most important things I’ve ever gotten to do.”

As part of his mentoring, Paisley took Kinch with him to play a show together last week at the PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey.

“Mentoring was something where I could stress the importance of reacting and relating with these people (who) are always there for you if you do the right things in your career,” Paisley said.

After that show, Kinch took to Twitter to thank his headliner. “Thank you @BradPaisley for the most incredible night!! It was truly a joy performing with you tonight!!”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.