Stay Tuned
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Platinum Hit"s Karen: "To this day I still disagree"

One thing I’ve learned about “Platinum Hit” over these past few weeks is that my idea of what makes a hit song and the judges’ idea of what makes a hit song are two VERY different things…

This week’s episode is a perfect example. I thought Jackie Tohn’s group had a great road trip song with “The Road Is Where the Heart Is”—especially since the other two songs were a little too slow for any road trip I would take. But the judges tore the song apart and chastised its vague and meaningless lyrics and called it the worst song of the night. I was surprised, but nowhere near as surprised as Karen Waldrup, who ended up going home for her lyrical contributions to the song.

I had the chance to talk to Karen today about the shock, her experience on the show and the special gift Jewel gave her….

On “Heart” being named the worst song: “I was 100 percent blown away. Our team was just rockin’. All four of us believed in that song. We were joking they would pick it for the show’s theme song. We were very, very, very surprised…I think Johnny’s [the winning song] was the best.”

On why the judges didn’t like it: “The lyrics were not as strong as they could’ve been. To this day, I still disagree that that song was third place.”

On standing in front of the judges and Jackie trying to throw her under the bus: “I’m not mad at any of the other people. I owned up to what I did…I was thinking I’ve got to stand here and make it through this. This was just a small element of what’s happening with my music. This is Karen Waldrup Music you’re representing here. I’m going to be true to Karen Waldrup Music and represent it well. It was more about getting through this…Being from the south, it allowed me to have the grace under pressure and not back down.”

On the special gift Jewel gave her: “Jewel is one of my biggest inspirations in music. Period.” Hoping to inspire her lyrically, Jewel gave Karen a book containing five decades of poetry by Pablo Neruda. Inside Jewel wrote, “The most romantic poet of all time. Love, Jewel.”

On who she is as a songwriter: “I was not able to show my true potential. We wrote a variety of genres, but folk/rock/country is where I’m at. Women like Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Melissa Etheridge and Jewel really inspire me.”

On who she is as a singer/performer: “The reason people love my shows is because they have a lot of energy. I bring it. You need to bring everything.” Karen said she is getting lots of bookings for shows.

On whether she would do the show again if given the chance: “I absolutely would do it again. That’s what’s going to make the difference between the 12 of us. Who’s going to run with this? I expect to take these tools and run with it…It’s very subjective. It’s difficult to be around that. How do you define the best song?...But it’s big exposure.”

On whether she’ll ever work with any of the other “Hit” contestants: “I think I will write with other ‘Platinum Hit’ contestants. I was the only one selected from Nashville, so that makes it more difficult. But through Skype we can do some writing together. It would be really great to be able to go out to LA and share each other’s outlets. I fully anticipate having a relationship with these people.”

On her future: “I am ultimately seeking a record deal. I’m growing every single day. I’m excited to share [my music] with everybody.” Karen is planning a major industry showcase in Nashville later this month.

You can learn more about Karen and her music at…

You can hear the losing song she was a part of here. Be sure to let me know if you think it is as bad as the judges did, or if you agree with me that its’ pretty darn catchy…

Photo Credits: Tommy Garcia/Bravo and Nicole Wilder/Bravo