What Would Make ‘Clash of the Cover Bands’ Better For Season 2?

Corey Cesare
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Clash of the Cover BandsCasey Durkin/E! Entertainment

Last year, E! introduced a new series into the talent show universe, Clash of The Cover Bands. There were many good things about this show, but there were also many things that repeatedly made me want to turn my tv off. Here’s how I think Clash of The Cover Bands can be fixed if it gets renewed for a second season.


This series began with an overall introduction of what the competition was, who is in it, and what they win in the long run. The first episode included a longer introduction, while following episodes had a shortened version. Immediately after the short explanation the camera went to the judges and host to talk about what they were looking for in each category. In that aspect they get an A+ from a fan perspective, I always knew what was going on.

Matchups Weren’t Always Fair

From there viewers got to meet the groups (or individual singers) that were competing in the episode. When meeting this individuals there was always things in common, it was either a group that had only performed on the weekends vs someone who is a full time tribute artist. It never fully made sense as to why groups that perform full time were allowed to perform against someone who does it for fun.

On top of that, the series never explained the difference between a cover artist, impersonator, or tribute band. These three terms are the most important lingo. This series mostly featured tribute bands. Tribute bands are people who play the music of one artist or group and try to look like them too. An impersonator is a person who looks like someone else, but doesn’t sing and a cover artist is someone who doesn’t look like a specific person that only sings a specific artists music.


While most of the competitors were similar style based, there was one matchup that was totally unfair. In my opinion the episode of Karen Hester Covering Dolly Parton vs Amanda Kate Covering Carrie Underwood was completely unfair. Hester won the season because she was a fantastic tribute artist. She’s a seasoned Dolly Parton tribute and has been for ten years. Kate on the other hand, is a country singer who likes Underwood’s music. There was a huge disconnect between them.

Ester Dean Gave the Best Insight

I think one of the strong points of this competition was the judges. It was really cool to hear what Adam Lambert had to say about each groups, especially the rock bands. Meghan Trainor was typically seen in the fan mindset on this show, but it worked given the nature. Out of the three judges my favorite was Ester Dean. She always had something constructive to say about each group.

The judges weren’t a problem. Overall, they worked well in unison. For the next season (if there is a next season) I’d love to see a Queen tribute band just to see what Lambert would say to them. Stephen “tWitch” Boss was a good host, but I think the time slot was too small for the viewers to really get a feel for him in this show.


There Needs To Be More Mentors

This part of the show was extremely repetitive, it felt like every single group went to the same people. I was excited when a new mentor, the costume designer, was added later in the season. There’s no hate here for either the vocal coach Kuk Harrell or the movement expert Ray Leeper, I just got so sick of them.

Instead of having three mentors, I think there should’ve at least been six. I know that both Harrell and Leeper are extremely accomplished and have worked with most of these celebrities but alone they weren’t cutting it for me. They weren’t the correct choice for each group. They were great with some people, but others didn’t take to their advice as well. I think including other mentors in the line up would’ve helped this series a lot.

Why Was There Not A Second Round Of ‘Clash of the Cover Bands’?

This series felt super staged to say the least. I was expecting to watch through round one of the competition then see each group go again, but this wasn’t the case at all. Instead, all of the episode winners gathered via Zoom call to see which person won the overall prize. There was nothing to really judge in that aspect. The judges weren’t keeping a number based score so what were they determining this off of?

Hester’s episode made her look like the tribute artist queen simply because her competitor was only a cover artist. Does that itself justify a full season win? It felt weird and just wrong. I thought the obvious winner was Slippery When Wet – the Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute Covering Bon Jovi considering they have approval from the group to perform as is. I’m not mad Hester won, I think she’s a great tribute artist, but I think things would’ve been different with another round added to the competition.

I liked the idea of Clash of The Cover Bands but really think the producers need to take a long look at the format before making a second season. There was so much about this show that was overly repetitive, unfair or left in the air.

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