“We can’t keep fighting over the same man!”


"We can't keep fighting over the same man!"

Dolly Parton’s triangle love classic “Jolene” has been covered by everyone from pop stars Olivia Newton-John, Miley Cyrus and Lil Nas X to alternative groups The White Stripes, The Sisters of Mercy and Strawberry Switchblade in 2017, which country singer Cam released even an inverted response track, “Diane,” which tells the story from Jolene’s point of view. But Dolly’s ’70s hit has never taken a turn like You Can Have Him, Jolene, a new sequel starring it America’s Got Talent this week by family country trio Chapel Hart.

“We were so inspired by the song ‘Jolene’ and we just love the storyline,” said Danica Hart, Chapel Hart’s feisty lead singer AGT Panel Tuesday. “However, we thought that from 1973 to 2022 we could Not still fighting over the same man! So we decided to tell her, ‘You can have him, Jolene!’”

“Well since the last song I’ve had time to think about it/A lot of tears, a lot of beer, a lot of wine. … I’m tired of second chances and these sad circumstances / He’s your problem, good luck keeping him at home,” sang the cheeky ladies of Chapel Hart – Danica, her sister Devynn Hart and their cousin Trea Swindle – in their flawless three-part harmonies. “Oh, Jolene, you can have him because he doesn’t mean much to me. … If you think he’s in love, make sure / Just like he did with me.

And the protagonist of Chapel Hart’s modern empowerment song got her happy ending — plus a bit of “Before He Cheats”-esque revenge. “I took my keys and threw him out the door/I found a man who loves me and gives me everything I need/What more could a woman ask for?” the women chanted, like life AGT the audience went wild.

“The energy in here is incredible,” noted host Terry Crews. “Oh my goodness! Trust me, I needed you today. It was amazing,” gushed judge Simon Cowell.

This Mississippi-born, New Orleans-based trio was named one of CMT’s Next Women of Country artists last year, and they’ve released two independent albums and five singles — one of which, “Jesus & Alcohol,” even featured ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons on guitar and Debbie Allen in the music video. And yet Chapel Hart somehow remains unsigned, which understandably surprised industry veteran Simon.

“We’ve been trying to get a foothold in Nashville for the past few years, but it’s been quite difficult when I think country music doesn’t always look like us,” explained Danica — who, like Devynn and Trea Black, is in tears, when Devynn wiped her face sweetly. Simon claimed, “Sometimes you just have to break down that door, and with that accomplishment, maybe you just broke down the door.” Judge Howie Mandel added, “You say country music doesn’t look like you? That is yours to win. Because you will be the original.”

All of the show’s individual golden buzzers were used up weeks ago during that talented season — which both Simon and Heidi Klum lamented, saying they would have used their respective golden buzzers on Chapel Hart if they still could. But there was a simple solution: After a brief meeting between Terry and all four judges, they unanimously decided to use it group Golden Buzzer for the country trio. (This is only the second time this has happened AGT Story; the group Golden Buzzer was introduced last season in response to the operatic prodigy Victory Brinker.)

The confetti then rained down on crying Danica, Devynn and Trea as they hugged and high-fived the judges. “There are little girls in Poplarville, Miss., who don’t think it’s possible, but we are doing it!” Trea proclaimed triumphantly.

It remains to be seen if Chapel Hart can win America’s Got Talent, but after performing this dynamite number for one of the network’s biggest TV viewers, they probably won’t be long without a major record deal. Thankfully, as Nashville becomes more open and inclusive — note the recent success of Black Country artists like Mickey Guyton, Jimmie Allen, Kane Brown, Yola, Rhiannon Giddens, Allison Russell, Amethyst Kiyah, Breland, Valerie June, and others — it seems like Chapel Hart’s time has finally come. And I think Dolly Parton herself would approve of that.

Tuesday’s other notable cast included raspy singer-songwriter Sam Cieri, whom Heidi described as “if Rod Stewart and John Mayer had a baby” (I was thinking more like Lewis Capaldi/Michael McDonald Lovechild); Ballet After Dark, a troupe of attack survivors who find healing through dance; Ukrainian aerialist Svitlana Rohozhyna; viral folk artist Amanda Mammana, who uses music to overcome her speech impediment; Second-generation circus performer Jack the Whipper, who somehow convinced Simon to take part in a below-the-belt popping stunt that could have walked very crooked; and donkey-type Brits of the Lazy Generation, who received a standing ovation from Simon after splashing hot sauce in their eyes, shoving thumbtacks all over the stage floor and engaging in a pillow fight while being tasered. (Believe me, it was ridiculously fun – but don’t try this at home or across the pond.)

See you next week when the America’s Got Talent The audition for season 17 continues.

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