‘Clash of The Cover Bands’ Recap: Dolly Parton Tribute Sounds Just Like Her!

Corey Cesare
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Evans Vestal Ward/E! Entertainment

Clash of the Cover Bands returned on E! for its newest episode that featured Karen Hester Covering Dolly Parton and Amanda Kate Covering Carrie Underwood. These country queens were both assigned to see the costume designer and absolutely killed their final performances.


This episode paid tribute to the queens of country. The judges specifically was looking for someone who’s able to grab the hearts of the audience in their performances. As always the judges are voting based off of how much they look, sound and act like the tribute artists.

Dolly Parton Tribute Tears up The Stage to “9 to 5”

Karen Hester covering Dolly Parton and Amanda Kate Covering is from Virginia, but currently resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She grew up in a family that enjoyed music then went on to working with country bands. When she moved to Myrtle Beach she picked up her Dolly Parton tribute career. She loves Parton because the singer wears heart on her sleeve and is unbelievably talented. Hester has now been performing as Dolly Parton for ten years.

The tribute artist ran on to the stage and sang the Parton hit “9 to 5.” Immediately I thought this tribute artist had the right personality on stage. Adam Lambert immediately said that this tribute was spot on if he closed his eyes. Even though she was almost spot on with her Parton impression, the judges sent her to work with the shows costume designer to bring her stage presence up a notch.


Carrie Underwood Tribute Artist Who Didn’t Really Look Like Carrie Underwood

Amanda Kate covering Carrie Underwood has been working as a technical recruiter for ten years and spends the rest of her days in the barn with her horses. She grew up in Texas, but often travelled with her mother who was a singer-songwriter. As a child, this tribute artist instantly felt a connection when she watched someone like her win a compeition show. She was so inspired by Underwood winning American Idol that she chose to pay tribute to her on weekends. This singer lost her mom during the coronavirus pandemic, but continues paying tribute to Underwood in memory of her mom.

She started her time on the stage off singing “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood. The first thing you’ll notice about this singer is that she doesn’t look like Underwood when she first walks on stage. This singer isn’t a tribute artist for Underwood, instead she is a country singer that sings a lot of Underwoods music. Prior to Clash of the Cover Bands she had auditioned for both The Voice and American Idol, but had never been chosen.

“I think my story on the show is a bit unique because I’m the only one on the show that’s not a tribute artist. I pay tribute to Carrie Underwood through her music and doing shows, but that’s not my full-time job,” said Amanda Kate. “My full-time job is my music. I was the only one on the show that wasn’t a tribute artist. I just happened to do this kind of on the side for fun.”


The judges loved her song choice and said that she had an amazing voice all around. After performing for the first time, the judges suggested for this tribute artist to meet with the style expert to give her a Hollywood makeover.

The Country Queens Rock the Stage Following Their Hollywood Makeovers

Both Karen Hester covering Dolly Parton and Amanda Kate covering Carrie Underwood worked with costume designer Maggie Berry. The costume designer worked to give Amanda Kate a more glitzed look for the battle round. On the other hand, Berry helped revamp Karen Hester’s tribute of Dolly Parton. Berry helped the tribute choose a more classic country look for the battle performance.

Both artists premiered a new look with the same great moves and voice in this round of the competition. Knowing that the Carrie Underwood tribute isn’t one to fully immersify the artist made this episode tough for me to watch. Immediately I wanted to think that the Dolly Parton tribute should win this episode. Even though the Carrie Underwood tribute didn’t present herself to be the celebrity, her vocals were seriously out of this world.

The judges commented on the positive points on both of the competitors. Both ladies brought great fashion to their last performance, but Lambert couldn’t get over how similar Hester sounded to Parton. The judges announced Karen Hester covering Dolly Parton as the winner of the episode. Karen Hester is the eighth winner of Clash of the Cover bands. She is now going home with $10,000, a performance on The Jimmy Fallon Show, and the chance to compete to be crowned the ultimate cover band at the end of the season.

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