NBC’s songwriting competition series Songland is back Monday, April 13 with its second season premiere. This season the guest artists include Boyz II Men, Florida Georgia Line, Luis Fonsi, H.E.R., Martina McBride, Julia Michaels, Ben Platt, Bebe Rexha and Usher.
But kicking things off is country trio Lady Antebellum, made up of Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, and Hillary Scott. Here are the songs the trio was given to choose from and information on how to download the winning number. But be warned of spoilers ahead.
The way Songland works is that four songwriters present a song to the guest artist for that episode. For the Songland season two premiere, the guest artist was country trio Lady Antebellum.
Before the songwriters performed their pieces for the trio, they gave judges Shane McAnally, Ester Dean, and Ryan Tedder an idea of what they were looking for, saying that they want “stuff that has an interesting musical component, catches our ear when we hear something new … something a little different musically to push us.”
The songwriters for episode one included:
- Tim Halperin, Omaha, NE, “Losing You.” Halperin is an alum of American Idol season 10; he was eliminated during the Top 24.
- Steven Battey, Savannah, GA, “Feels Good to Me”
- Madeline Merlo, Maple Ridge, British Columbia, “I’ll Drink To That.” Merlo is a well-known country artist in her home country of Canada.
- Ryan Innes, Thatcher, AZ, “Long Way Home.” Innes was on Team Usher during season four of The Voice but was eliminated in the Knockout Round.
After the first round of performances, Lady Antebellum chose Halperin to move on and work with producer Ryan Tedder to rework his song. They turned “Losing You” into a duet and got The Goldbergs Hayley Orrantia to perform it with Halperin for the final showcase.
Lady Antebellum then chose Merlo to move on and work with Shane McAnally. When the two of them reworked “I’ll Drink to That,” they changed it quite a bit into a “fun summer anthem” and renamed it “Champagne Night.”
The final person chosen to advance was Innes, who worked with Ester Dean on his song. Battey was eliminated.
The Winning Song
After listening to the three revamped songs, Lady Antebellum said, “We can only choose one and we are choosing solely based on what we need in our catalog right now.”
“We’re about to go on tour and we could really use… a ‘Champagne Night,'” the country trio revealed.
During Merlo’s performance, Lady Antebellum said of the song, “That’s so fun. That’s a hit. When it gets hit city [is the line] ‘Doubles or bubbles, get in all kinds of trouble,’ whoa!”
After Merlo left, Dave Haywood joked that “Doubles or Bubbles” is the sweatshirt they’re going to sell on tour.
When they selected her song, Merlo said, “They just have an incredible reputation for releasing songs that are cool … it is really validating.”
“I can’t even tell you the kind of dream it was for me to get a Lady Antebellum cut, so today, to be a part of that with Madeline, it’s huge,” said McAnally.
Songland airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, following new episodes of The Voice.