Samsung and Billboard’s NXT 2.0 singing competition has begun and the 12 contestants are off to a smooth start, with the same song challenge, courtesy of BTS.
For the first round of the singing face-off, the dozen were tasked with putting their own spin on the K-pop group’s 2021 dance floor anthem, “Butter,” using their Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 and Galaxy Buds2 Pro . While some utilized the original instrumental and added their own vocal styling, others gave the hit a genre facelift, churning out house, reggaeton and pop/rock makeovers. The contestants were ranked on a specialty Billboard chart, which will update after each round.
The kickoff challenge was announced by celebrity mentor Flo Milli at the top of November. The rising rap star serves as the second mentor participating in the competition after Mariah Angeliq, with a third to be announced in the coming weeks. The winner of Samsung and Billboard’s NXT 2.0 competition will land on the cover of a special digital issue of Billboard, receive a meeting with a record label, studio time to record their first single, funding for a music video and tickets to the 2023 Billboard Music Awards.
Check out each submission as part of the same song challenge, and click here to follow along with the competition to see how your favorite act fares as the face-off continues!
In Leonforte’s submission for challenge one, the singer utilized the original instrumental of the hit, added some runs to the mix and even let his dance moves shine.
Ellie B put vocals (and her love for plants) at the forefront of her submission for the first challenge, giving “Butter” the solo act treatment.
FIKI slowed things down in her interpretation of the K-pop group’s track, offering listeners a glimpse of her powerful pipes.
Keeping the funk of the original track intact, King infused his R&B and gospel roots into his rendition of “Butter,” while simultaneously turning his submission into a jam session.
The danceable chorus of “Butter” pivots in Rose’s piano-led track, which saw the singer deliver a house twist, with his signature nose chain accessory, of course.
For Lordus’ revamp of the smash, the singer shed a light on her pristine vocals and impressive technique as she turned the dance floor anthem into a delicate ballad.
R&B took center stage on Hicks’ submission for challenge one, which heard the singer belt out the lyrics over a piano melody.
For her cover of the dance cut, Tortolani opted for the original instrumental of the song, factoring in the track’s signature ad-libs and some playful hand gestures to pair.
With her piano in-tow, Nyla XO offered a silky version of the hit, utilizing her vocals as a tool to help fill and shape the backing track.
“Butter” underwent the pop/rock transformation with McMahon’s acoustic treatment, where the star offered an emotional twist to the otherwise perky track.
It was smooth like butter as soon as Vaishalini started her cover of the song, slowing down the tempo and offering a sensual take to the track with a culminating falsetto outro.
Straying away from the original dance format, Wampy delivered a reggaeton-inspired makeover of the septet’s hit, with a new vocal arrangement and added runs for flair.