Bravo’s “Platinum Hit” may seem like an odd concept to most people. How can the creative process of songwriting be subjected to the format of “Top Chef”? Host and successful singer/songwriter Jewel says it happens more than you may think.
“Every single one of those challenges is realistic,” Jewel tells Zap2it. “That was a really big part of the show for me. I wanted to be involved with the authenticity of it. And also because I wanted to make sure these kids were prepared, even if they didn’t make it to the finale, for what’s going to be expected of them.”
“You need to be able to come up with good quick,” she adds. “You can’t sit around like a baby and go, ‘My muse isn’t hitting me.’ If you’re an artist that has some kind of luxurious life, and you can afford to wait for your muse to hit you, great. When you’re a professional writer and that’s what your living’s depending on, it usually isn’t like that.”
The competition pits an eclectic group of contestants and styles against each other. Every week they first write a song hook and then they move on to completely write, and then perform the song for Jewel, head judge Kara DioGuardi, and a panel of industry experts. It’s a quick pace, but one Jewel says she hasn’t done herself countless times.
“You got three hours max to write a song,” she says. “I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than three hours in a songwriting session. Usually, it’s two hours. And if you don’t get your hook within the first 20 minutes usually, you’re not going to.”
In the end, Jewel says she’s mostly doing this show to provide opportunities for new songwriters, the same ones she was lucky to snag early in her career.
“I love to be able to mentor talent and I was fortunate enough to have been mentored by my heroes,” she tells us. “[Bob] Dylan took me under his wing and Neil Young and they’re invaluable. You know, if musicians are not looking out for musicians, nobody else really is.”
“Platinum Hit” premieres Monday, May 30 at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.