It was week two for the "Nashville Stars" and everyone was so much more relaxed! The week started for the contestants when they were assigned a judge as a mentor for the length of the contest. I like this idea. It sets up a bit of rivalry between the three and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it didn't influence their critiques at show time.
Jewel is mentoring the men, John Rich has the girls and Jeffrey Steele has the groups. Let's see how they did.
The style of this show is to announce those moving on, one at a time. That person performs and slowly the pack is whittled down to the final two, who also perform with the knowledge that one of them has already been cut.
The night began with Sophie & Laura "Rocking to the Rhythm of the Rain." These gals have some interesting harmonies but I'm with the judges who say it sounds like a slumber party. There's no passion in their voices. I think they're going home soon.
Ashlee Hewitt was up next with "Ring of Fire." A risky choice and I thought it felt too low and too karaoke. Don't sing Johnny Cash, just don't.
Train wreck ahead, Justin Gaston! I want to like this kid but I agree with Rich who says he shouldn't even be on the show. He's totally getting by on his good looks because this guy can't perform at all.
And let me stop here a moment to grumble a bit about John Rich's comments in general. I'm starting to get offended by many of his casually, nasty remarks. With Gaston, he asked Jewel if she had spent her half hour with him making out or mentoring. Sorry, that's inappropriate. In a work situation, that's sexual harassment. And there were other comments along those lines as the night went on. Come on, Rich, clean up your act.
Now back to the contestants.
Alyson Gilbert gave a reasonable performance of "Every Breath You Take."
Pearl Heart gave a lackluster (which is hard to do) rendition of Bon Jovi's "Who Says You Can't Go Home" and these girls will be going home if they don't find a way to put some punch in their performance.
Tommy Stanley impressed the heck out of me this week with "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy." This was a gutsy move since it's Rich's signature tune but he pulled it off. He got rid of his guitar and I think it helped. (Oh yes, this is the other inappropriate comment, Rich asking him if the ladies have been hitting on him because they love a man in uniform.)
Gabe Garcia came back with "Have You Ever Seen the Rain." He's a tricky one for me. Great sound but he has no charisma on stage. I want him to wow me but he doesn't. (Actually, at this point, no one does.)
Shawn Mayer didn't do herself any favors by attempting the country standard "He Stopped Loving Her Today." It's like doing Johnny Cash, leave it alone.
Coffey was "Waiting on the World to Change," but he's the one that needs to change. Get some personality! Again, nice voice but I need that spark.
And so it came down to the final two, Third Town and Melissa Lawson. Melissa went with "Natural Woman" and it did nothing for me. I think she'll be in trouble again next week. Third Town wanted to do "Bohemian Rhapsody," and seeing as it ended up being their final performance it's a shame they didn't go for it. They went with "Mountain Music" and again it was country fair time. Also time for them to come home. Ironically, they were only brought into the competition at the last minute after another act was cut so what a crazy ride it's been for them.
Also on the show last night, Track Atkins performed "You're Gonna Miss This" which is being used to say good-bye to the contestants. I couldn't watch it because the song makes me cry, but I'm sure it was fantastic.
Next week, "Pop Goes Country" where the contestants will have to put a Nashville spin on a popular tune. Should be worth watching.
My prediction, Melissa and Ashlee in the bottom two. Melissa going home.
Watch "Nashville Star" every Monday night at 9:00 on NBC.
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