Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Country Artist Tournament: Championship

The voting for the Frightful 4 of Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Country Artist Tournament is now over! We can now crown the winner of this tournament and as determined by you the readers, who is the absolute worst in country music in 2016. So who advances to the championship match…

Championship Country Perspective's 2016 Worst Country Artist Tournament


The Frightful 4 certainly had some intrigue to it and it played out about how I expected it to go. On one side of the bracket we had #1 seed Sam Hunt take on #4 seed Florida Georgia Line. I pretty much expected Florida Georgia Line to get crushed considering they haven’t been nearly as bad lately as Hunt. The vote wasn’t even close, as Hunt crushed Florida Georgia Line. Hunt won 62% of the vote to Florida Georgia Line’s 38%. I thought Old Dominion belonged in this spot, but you the readers thought different and I’m not sure if they even would have made it closer. Hunt is an unstoppable force of awfulness right now and he’s been doing what a one seed should be doing in the tournament.

On the other side of the bracket we had #2 seed Thomas Rhett take on #6 seed Cole Swindell. This one was really close for the first half of voting, as it was a virtual deadlock after one day of voting. But in the second half of voting Rhett took control and didn’t look back. In the end Rhett got enough of a boost to win the match-up, gaining 54% of the vote to Swindell’s 46%. This is only a difference of 14 votes! Swindell had a pretty great run through the tournament and I was impressed by how close he kept it with Rhett. Look for Swindell to have a higher seed next year. Ultimately I think Rhett’s impact was the difference maker, as the quality between the two is pretty much the same.

So now we have our championship match in Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Country Artist Tournament: #1 seed Sam Hunt versus #2 seed Thomas Rhett. The top two seeds will meet in a truly titanic match-up of terrible country music. This is the match-up I was hoping to see when I made this bracket, as the margin of difference between these two is pretty slim in my eyes. I’ve could have easily switched their seeding. But now you will decide! In one corner we have Sam Hunt, winner of our Worst Song of the Year award last year and a country artist who has never released an actual country song. Every one of his pop singles rises up the chart and hits number one. His impact and quality is off-the-chart bad. The same can be said of his opponent, Thomas Rhett. His entire career has been based on pandering to whatever is the popular trend at the moment and riding off nepotism. Not to mention he shamelessly rips off other artists like Sam Cooke, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars. He’s been a strong force not only in the bro country era, but the metro bro era. This is truly a toss-up in every sense of the word.

Remember you can only vote once, as much as you want to vote for both. Seriously only one, as hard as it is here to choose just one. Thank you all to everyone who has voted and participated so far. It has been a truly enjoyable tournament to watch play out and I’m glad you all have enjoyed it too. This was a random idea that just came to me and I’m so glad to see such high receptiveness to it.

The polls for this round will open tonight at 4:00 PM ET! Spread the word to all you know and be sure to vote! May the worst win!

8 thoughts on “Country Perspective’s 2016 Worst Country Artist Tournament: Championship

  1. Amanda April 4, 2016 / 1:05 pm

    Thomas Rhett for the win.


  2. Amanda April 4, 2016 / 1:25 pm

    Thomas Rhett should win. He’s ripped off Brantley Gilbert, Luke Bryan, Bruno Mars, Sam Cooke, and Ed Sheeran. The only reason he’s here is because of his daddy. He’s riding his father’s coattails to a successful country music career, which should be done by paying your dues and working your ass off. Not to mention, if I never hear another Thomas Rhett song again, I’ll die a happy woman.


    • Kevin Davis April 4, 2016 / 1:37 pm

      Those are all good points, but I have to go with Hunt for the win. Maybe this is (in part) because I have his pathetic performance at the ACM’s last night still in my mind. Rhett is bad, but at least he still has a semblance of country. Hunt is simply not country, as last night’s performance demonstrated for the hundredth time — since when did an electronic drum track and some piano and schmaltzy singing = country music? Of course, never. To my mind, that is far more damaging than what Rhett has done, even though Rhett has obviously helped contribute to the urbanization and cheapening of country.


      • Amanda April 4, 2016 / 1:45 pm

        Sam’s performance was terrible last night (I could barely hear him and he was singing a freaking POP song at a COUNTRY awards show!). But at least he’s paid his dues and does posess a smidge of talent.


        • Kevin Davis April 4, 2016 / 2:02 pm

          I can understand that he some talent, and he’s written or helped write some decent songs (e.g., WMM’s “I Met a Girl”). But I still consider his own output and negative influence to be more destructive than Rhett’s.


  3. Cobra April 4, 2016 / 1:47 pm

    Gonna have to go with Hunt on this one. As bad as Rhett is, he’s at least put out a couple of songs that are listenable, even if they’re not particularly good.

    Hunt is just an unending and unstoppable force of inescapable awfulness. I sincerely believe he has the intention of destroying country music.


  4. Amanda April 4, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    You make some solid points, Kevin. After all, Sam Hunt is the one who started the whole metro bro craze.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jason April 4, 2016 / 3:18 pm

    Thomas Rhett, simply for being famous purely on nepotism and shamelessly ripping off so many more talented artists.

    Say what you will about Sam Hunt, but he’s a decent technical songwriter, he got his shot without needing some bs like nepotism, his voice is tolerable, and he’s somewhat original. Rhett has no songwriting skills, he’s only famous because of nepotism, he sings through his nose, and he’s plagiarized Sam Cooke and Ed Sheeran in back to back singles. Who’s worse, the bad artist or the bad person (at least from what his music says about him)?


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