Dolly Parton’s love triangle classic “Jolene” has been covered by everyone from pop stars Olivia Newton-John, Miley Cyrus and Lil Nas X to alternative bands White Stripes, The Sisters of Mercy and Strawberry Switchblade. In 2017, country singer Cam even released a reverse response track, “Diane,” telling the story from Jolene’s perspective. But there was never a spin on Dolly’s 70s hit like “You Can Have Him, Jolene,” a new sequel played on America’s Got Talent this week by family country trio Chapel Hart.
“We were so inspired by the song ‘Jolene’ and we love the storyline,” said Chapel Hart lead singer Danica Hart. AGT panel Tuesday. “We thought, however, from 1973 to 2022, that we could not always fighting for the same man! So we decided to tell her: ‘You can have it, Jolene!’ »
“Well since the last song I’ve had time to think about it / Lots of tears, lots of beer, lots of wine. … I’m sick of second chances, and these sad circumstances / That’s your problem, good luck keeping him home,” the sassy ladies of Chapel Hart – Danica, her sister Devynn Hart and their cousin Trea Swindle – belted out in their impeccable three-part harmonies. “Oh, Jolene, you can have him because he doesn’t mean much to me. …When you think he’s in love, surely leave / As he did to me.
And the protagonist of Chapel Hart’s modern empowerment aria got his happy ending — plus a bit of revenge reminiscent of “Before He Cheat.” “I took my keys and threw him out/I found a man who loves me and he’ll give me everything I need/What more could a woman ask for ?” the women sang, like the live AGT the public went crazy.
“The energy here is incredible,” noted host Terry Crews. “Oh my God! Believe me, I needed you today. It was fantastic,” exclaimed judge Simon Cowell.
This Mississippi-born, New Orleans-based trio was named one of CMT’s “Next Women of Country” artists last year, and they’ve released two independent albums and five singles — one of which, “Jesus & Alcohol,” even featured ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons on guitar and Debbie Allen in the clip. And yet, Chapel Hart remains somehow unsigned, which understandably surprised industry veteran Simon.
“We’ve been trying to break into Nashville for a few years, but it’s been a little tough when I think country music doesn’t always sound like us,” said Danica — who, like Devynn and Trea, is black. through tears, as Devynn gently wiped her face. To that, Simon claimed, “Sometimes you just have to kick that door down, and you might just kick that door down with that performance.” Judge Howie Mandel added: “Are you saying country music isn’t like you? It’s your to win. Because you are going to be the original.
All of the show’s individual Golden Buzzers were used weeks ago during this talent-heavy season – something Simon and Heidi Klum lamented, saying they would have used their respective Golden Buzzers on Chapel Hart’s they still could. But there was an easy solution: After a quick meeting between Terry and the four judges, they unanimously decided to use their band Golden Buzzer on the country trio. (It was the only time this happened in AGT the story; the Golden Buzzer group was introduced last season in response to operatic prodigy Victory Brinker.)
Confetti then rained down on crying Danica, Devynn and Trea as they hugged and clapped the hands of the judges. “There are little girls in Poplarville, Miss., who think it’s not possible, but we do!” Trea triumphantly proclaimed.
It remains to be seen if Chapel Hart can win America’s Got Talent, but after performing that dynamite act for one of network television’s biggest audiences, they probably won’t be long without a major record deal. As Nashville thankfully becomes more open and inclusive — note the recent success of black country artists like Mickey Guyton, Jimmie Allen, Kane Brown, Yola, Rhiannon Giddens, Allison Russell, Amethyst Kiyah, Breland, Valerie June, et al — it seems that Chapel Hart’s time has finally arrived. And I think Dolly Parton herself would approve.
As for Tuesday’s other notable performers, they included raucous singer-songwriter Sam Cieri, whom Heidi described as “if Rod Stewart and John Mayer had a baby” (I was thinking Lewis Capaldi/Michael McDonald lovechild instead, in do) ; Ballet After Dark, a troupe of assault survivors who find healing through dance; Ukrainian aerialist Svitlana Rohozhyna; viral folk artist Amanda Mammana, who uses music to overcome her speech impediment; Second-generation circus performer Jack the Whipper, who somehow convinced Simon to participate in a below-the-belt whipping stunt that might have gone very crooked; and Donkey-esque Brits the Lazy Generation, who received a standing ovation from Simon after splashing hot sauce in their eyes, scattering thumbtacks on the stage floor and engaging in a pillow fight while being taser. (Trust me it was great fun – but don’t try this at home Where across the pond.)
See you next week, when America’s Got Talent The season 17 auditions continue.
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