Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Country Artist Tournament: The Sour 16

The round of 32 in Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Country Artist Tournament is over! It was interesting to watch play out to say the least. So how did it play out…

Sour 16 Country Perspective's 2016 Worst Country Artist Tournament


For the most part it played out pretty predictably in the first round of voting. Most of the favorites won their match-ups pretty easily, just like the college basketball tournament. The biggest blowout took place in the We’re A Group & We Suck Region, as Florida Georgia Line crushed The Cadillac Three by a 93% to 7% margin. All of the top seeds won fairly comfortably, although I’m surprised Steven Tyler and Michael Ray were able to pull over 25% of the vote against Sam Hunt and Thomas Rhett respectively.

Of course not every match-up was like this. There were two upsets that took place in the first round. The first one I didn’t see coming. In the Pop Artists Region #25 Chris Lane upset #6 Kelsea Ballerini, with Lane pulling just ahead of Ballerini with 53.25% of the vote to her 46.75% of the vote. Only 15 votes was the difference! But shockingly this was not the closest. That honor goes to the match-up of #15 Blake Shelton against #18 Justin Moore. It began with Blake crushing Moore early in the voting by a 70-30 margin. Then the Shelton super fans found out about our little tournament. They shared it and voted like crazy for Moore to give Moore a 10% lead at one point. But then Miranda Lambert fans started voting back against Blake fans (I know because of my mentions on Twitter). From there on it was an absolute dead heat as the lead changed hands multiple times yesterday afternoon and evening. Before I went to sleep there was only a one vote difference! I thought I would have to break a tie, but Shelton fans made one last push and Moore came out on top with 51.59% of the vote to pull the upset. Shelton pulled in 48.41% of the vote. The difference? Only 11 votes!

So now we move on to the Sour 16! We start off in the Pop Artists Region as top seed of the entire tournament Sam Hunt will take on #16 RaeLynn, who easily dispatched of Hunter Hayes in round one. Below #9 Kane Brown, who defeated Danielle Bradbery in the round of 32, will face the Cinderella of the tournament, #25 Chris Lane. The winners of these match-ups will face each other in the Egregious 8 to determine the winner of the Pop Artists Region. It’ll be interesting to see if Chris Lane can pull off another upset and if RaeLynn, who has never received above a 0 grade on this blog, can knock off top seed Sam Hunt.

In the We’re A Group & We Suck Region, #4 Florida Georgia Line will square off with #13 LoCash, who dispatched of Lady Antebellum quite easily in the first round. In the other Sour 16 match-up in the region, #12 Dan + Shay, who defeated the older versions of themselves in round one, will face #5 Old Dominion. From the start it looked pretty obvious that Florida Georgia Line and Old Dominion were on a collision course to face each other in the region final and it looks to still be the case. Between LoCash and Dan + Shay, I think LoCash has the best chance to pull of an upset. It’s a long shot, but I can see an upset scenario.

Moving onto the Good ‘Ol Bros Region, #2 Thomas Rhett will face off with #18 Justin Moore. The winner of this will meet the winner of what I predict will an absolute bloodbath of a match-up. #10 Chase Rice, who crushed #23 Tyler Farr, will meet #7 Brantley Gilbert, who easily beat #26 Easton Corbin. I think Rice versus Gilbert will be absolutely crazy, as both artists have their fair number of detractors and have made lots of bad music. Just like Shelton versus Moore, I could see super fan turnout being a possible determining factor. Either way I expect it be quite close.

Finally in the Georgia Region, #3 Luke Bryan will take on #14 Dustin Lynch, who beat #19 Kenny Chesney in the first round. I expect Bryan to win this easily, but below we have another thriller set up. #11 Jason Aldean, who took down #22 Billy Currington with ease, will face #6 Cole Swindell, who took out Earl Dibbles Jr.’s alter ego. Do I have to spell this one out? It’s Swindell versus Aldean! The purveyor of country rap against the former Luke Bryan merchandise peddler. The man who helped make Brantley Gilbert a thing faces the man who does this:

Cole Swindell %22Dancing%22

I can’t wait to see how the Sour 16 match-ups play out! Thank you everyone who voted in the first round and hope you all continue to stick around in the subsequent rounds. It’s starting to get really good! The polls will open on Monday at 1 PM ET. May the worst win!

7 thoughts on “Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Country Artist Tournament: The Sour 16

  1. Raymond March 18, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    There’s only one I can’t make mind up on and that’s Raelynn vs Sam Hunt. On the one hand Sam Hunt finally released a mediocre single, something Raelynn can’t claim. But Sam Hunt has had a huge affect so I’m confused.

    I’m still not surprised by Chris Lane winning. I think Kelsea Ballerini had some decent album cuts or songs like “Secondhand Smoke”, “Stilettos” “Peter Pan” and despite some bad production choices I do like “XO”. Chris Lane however doesn’t have one decently written song at all.

    Kane Brown, I honestly just don’t get the appeal. In my opinion he can’t sing at all. I do hope Thomas Rhett does still make it far besides “Playing With Fire” everything else is either plagiarizing or flat out lazy.

    I’m sorry but the Cole Swindell and Jason Aldean match up isn’t even close. At least Jason Aldean has a few good singles “Don’t You Wanna Stay” “Relentless” or my personal favorite “The Truth”. What does Cole Swindell have to defend himself, nothing.


  2. Derek Hudgin March 18, 2016 / 6:06 pm

    The toughest for me are Chris Lane & Kane Brown and then Jason Aldean & Cole Swindell. Yeah, Aldean has had some good cuts, but he’s also cut alot of terrible songs. “1994”? I’d rate that worse than pretty much all of Cole Swindell’s singles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raymond March 18, 2016 / 6:43 pm

      Even some of Cole Swindell songs like “Let Me See Ya Girl” and or the abomination that was “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey”? I will admit Jason Aldean has the worst song with “1994”. But that song flamed out so quickly it won’t be remembered for a long time. Where as the 2 songs from Cole Swindell hit the Top and are still played on the radio and still have a presence to this day. Besides Jason Aldean’s debut album remains one of my favorite albums from a mainstream artist. Plus he has some pretty solid early songs like “Amarillo Sky” “Hicktown” “Why” and especially “Laughed Until We Cried”.


    • NoahHibiscusEaton March 18, 2016 / 10:53 pm

      Both are no-brainers, in my opinion.

      Chris Lane is struggling intensely to break out, while Kane Brown has insane hype buoying him. Brown easily wins in terms of relevancy and net undesirable impact.

      Aldean and Swindell is even more of a landslide in my eyes. Aldean may have released quite a few terrible radio singles, but he’s above-average when it comes to selecting album tracks. Tracks like “Don’t Change Gone”, “Tryin’ To Love Me” and “Too Fast” off his most recent album single-handedly prove the wide difference in overall quality between the two of them. Swindell has yet to prove, at least to my ears, he can deliver a poignant song that doesn’t rely on stock identifiers as crutches.


  3. Amanda March 18, 2016 / 9:26 pm

    Cole Swindell’s dancing is hilariously awful. 😉


  4. NoahHibiscusEaton March 18, 2016 / 10:42 pm

    As much as it is a reality, it astonishes me how fans can get so worked up and defensive to the degree they’ll rush just to “freep” a “just for kicks and giggles” non-scientific poll.

    I mean, REALLY? =P


    Anyway, I’m sure we all have differing motivations and methodologies as to how we determine our votes: which is great.

    In this first round, my choices sided with the majority opinion most of the time. The only exceptions were Kelsea Ballerini (Chris Lane may have released terrible back-to-back singles, but I believe Lane isn’t nearly as detrimental to the format as Ballerini in the grander scheme of things) and Easton Corbin (while Brantley Gilbert is moving in the right direction somewhat, Easton Corbin just keeps getting worse and worse and so Corbin deserved the demerit).

    The groups, especially, were bloody obvious in the first round, but will get a lot more interesting from here on out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bill Rich March 19, 2016 / 11:02 pm

    Looks like some of you will go through a lot of pain for the cause of better Country music. Because no way would I consider buying, or listening to a whole album of most of these “worst ofs”. The singles are supposed to be the best album cuts. So if the single is “bad”, that tells me it’s the best of the even worse. LoL.

    Also body of work of an “artist” makes little difference. To me its what they’re doing now. And I’m tired of their bait and switch. So Right or wrong, that makes my voting really easy.


Comments are closed.