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Spoilers ahead for Bebe Rexha's episode of Songland Season 2.
NBC's Songland brought in none other than Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha in pursuit of her next hit, and the four competitors who belted their best for her benefit didn't hold back. Rexha was so impressed that she couldn't choose just one winner, but decided to combine elements of two competitors' songs to make one tune that could become a big hit... but not as big as it could be just yet, and Songland fans may be disappointed with the reason why.
Bebe Rexha visited Songland to land on a song that she would use to promote the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which would have undoubtedly been thrilling to viewers, if only the Tokyo Olympic Games were still happening in 2020. If the Games had been able to proceed as planned, this episode of Songland would have released mere weeks before Rexha's song likely would have started to play everywhere. Instead, Rexha's Songland song presumably won't be used to promote the Olympics for a while.
To Songland's credit, the episode didn't drop the reveal that the song was supposed to be for Olympic promotion at the very end, which might have felt deceptive. Instead, this title card was displayed at the beginning of the episode:
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were postponed back in late March due to the coronavirus pandemic that was shutting down events all over the world, as well as production on many TV shows that had to wrap their seasons early and abruptly. While the Games have already received a rescheduled date to start in 2021, the postponement does make Bebe Rexha's history-making selection of two Songland songwriters for one tune a little less thrilling.
Assuming Bebe Rexha still uses this song to promote the Olympics, we're still a year or so out before the promotion courtesy of NBC gets into gear. That said, it was still a fun episode of Songland, and the postponement of the Olympics doesn't mean that Rexha's song has to remain unrecorded and unreleased for another year. The excitement of the winners alone made the episode feel worthwhile to me.
If anything, this episode of Songland really reminded me of how this show stands out from other reality TV shows, including other musical reality competition shows like American Idol and The Voice. Songland skips the gimmicks and the sketches to focus on the music, featuring a real music star who is there with a goal rather than to lend their celebrity and sit in the spotlight. These are singers who engage the artists who are trying to break their way into the biz, and I always enjoy watching the journey.
Fortunately, Songland will be back with another episode next week. Even if viewers can't look forward to the Olympics for another 13 months or so, they can look forward to Tony-, Grammy-, and Emmy-winner Ben Platt (who will soon return to Netflix for an even raunchier second season of The Politician) joining the writers/producers in trying to find the next hit song. Tune in to NBC on Monday, June 8 at 10 p.m. ET for the Ben Platt episode of Songland.