'Rising Star' Recap: The Top 8 Compete, 5 Contestants Advance

PHOTO: Internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter Josh Groban, country music superstar Brad Paisley, pop music sensation Kesha and hip hop artist and actor Ludacris have signed on to ABCs "Rising Star," which premieres June 22, 2014.

ABC's interactive singing competition "Rising Star" continued Sunday night with four contestants advancing to the semifinals after the East Coast vote and one additional act being sent through after the West Coast broadcast.

Jesse Kinch, Austin French, Joshua Peavy, Audrey Kate Geiger and Dana Williams advanced to next week's semifinals.

The top eight acts went up against one another to compete for the highest score. The first five sang with the wall up. The act with the lowest score up to that point was placed in the “hot seat,” and the next three contestants then sang with the wall down, trying to beat that person’s score. Viewers who downloaded the “Rising Star” app were asked to vote “yes” or “no,” just as they did in the audition round.

The two-hour show aired live on the East Coast, but viewers on the other side of the country had the chance to move an additional contestant on to the quarterfinals.

Host Josh Groban and the "Rising Star" "experts" -- Kesha, Ludacris and Brad Paisley -- presided over the performances. Votes from the "experts" only counted for 3 percent.

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Here are the highlights from Sunday night:

Christian youth and music pastor Joshua Peavy kicked things off singing the Lenny Kravitz version of the Guess Who’s “American Woman.” He earned 71 percent of the vote, including a "yes" from Kesha, who was skeptical at first. But she thought Peavy “looked like a bad**s, had blue hair and sang amazing.”

Ludacris, echoed the comments of viewers following the show on Twitter and complimented Joshua on his “energy” and “vocal control.” He voted “yes.” Brad also voted “yes,” noting Peavy “had the moves” to go along with his voice. Peavy moved on to the semifinals.

Dana Williams, 24, followed with Christina Perri’s “Human,” collecting 57 percent of the vote. Ludacris voted “no,” explaining that he “loved the high notes,” but felt there were several parts of the performance that were a little “iffy.”

Kesha voted "yes," telling Williams she really believed in her. She also complimented the singer on her "gutsiest performance" so far. Paisley wanted to hear something more in the performance, but heard enough in it to vote “yes.”

April Lockhart performed Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and earned just 27 percent of the vote. Brad, who earlier commented that Lockhart always seems to find a song to match her voice, commented, “Maybe we found one you can’t do.” He gave her a “no.”

Ludacris once again quoted comments from viewers following on Twitter who thought it was a “bad song choice.” Kesha agreed, but voted “yes” because it was “a fun song,” and April was such a “fun, cute girl.” April was eliminated from the competition.

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