Exclusive Interview: Gabe Garcia, Contestant on 'Nashville Star'
Exclusive Interview: Gabe Garcia, Contestant on 'Nashville Star'
There has been a lot of criticism this season about Nashville Star with viewers saying that the show lost its country feel with the move to NBC.  It's no surprise, then, that one of the biggest frontrunners at this point is Gabe Garcia -- judge Jeffrey Steele even told us in an interview last week that he thinks Gabe will win the whole thing.  Despite being criticized for his lack of movement on stage, there's no denying that Gabe seems country to the bone.

We sat down with Gabe Garcia on Friday to discuss his experience on the show, how it is working with judge Jewel as his mentor, and what we can expect from him tonight and in upcoming episodes.  Read on for a full transcript and audio of his interview.

Hi, this is Jeff from BuddyTV and today I'm talking with Gabe Garcia, one of the contestants on Nashville Star. So I spoke with Jeffrey Steele the other day and he told me that he thinks that you will win the whole thing.


Yeah, he did. Do you feel like a frontrunner at all, and does that put pressure on you at all when you perform?

Yeah, I like to think it. I like to think so. But it's pretty tough, who knows what's going to happen. It's all how people vote. I think it kind of hit all of us last week when Pearl Heart left, we didn't expect them to leave. We were like just, wow. It just totally opened our eyes, like wow, like who knows. It's just anybody's game, it's pretty crazy. But yeah, I like to think I'll stay at the top, and I'm going to try to as much as I can to do the best that I can.

Speaking with Jeffrey, he told me over the next couple of weeks you have some interesting theme nights, including the original song. Do you feel prepared that night?

Yeah, I do a lot of writing. I mean I'm not no Jeffrey Steele, but I do write. I've been coming up to Nashville since I was 17, just writing and recording. Yeah, I think I'm pretty prepared.

So Jewel is your mentor. Have you gone over your song with her at all?

For the original one?

Yeah, yeah.

No, no, not yet. They're still preparing for all that, figuring out when they're going to do it.

How has it been working with her general?

It's good, she's awesome. She's really sweet and she's the best team leader. She always backs us up during the show, too. You know John will try to rip Coffey or somebody and she steps right in, “Hey, hey, I think they're following directions and doing well.” Well obviously they're still on so her mentoring is helping and stuff and we're doing well. It's only me and Coffey left, as far as our team. But she was great, she's awesome.

Speaking of the judges' comments, something that even Jewel has mentioned to you is that you at least didn't use to seem very open on stage. Did you have much experience before Nashville Star on big stages, or is this your first real time on a big stage?

Yeah, I played a lot of places, played some big stages. It just depends, it's a different type of atmosphere from playing the dance halls and playing while having your band right behind you and getting to interact with your band and just jam out and wander around. This is a totally different setting and atmosphere and stuff, and just something to adjust to. So I guess that's probably why I've always stuck around the mic and kind of done my thing there. Not to say I'm the type of guy that runs around either, but it's just a challenge.

It was something that opened my mouth during an interview, I said like, “Jewel's been ripping me about looking more natural, running around, doing stuff.” And I was like, “Well, I guess I should take some dance lessons, huh?” And they followed along with it. The next day they called me, “Hey, we got your lessons.” I'm like, “Are you serious?” So yeah, the last show was funny, they caught me off camera taking dance lessons. But I think it's good to show too that I'm really trying, when they show the footage the judges see it and they're like, “Well, it looks like he's trying, he wants to win this thing and he's doing whatever it takes.” Yeah, I am going to do what it takes, but I just take everything as a great experience. I think you can never stop learning to be a great artist and performer. I'm just trying to take everything in and try it out. I'm pretty open-minded.

Of all the performance you've done so far, which one are you the most proud of?

[laughs] Probably the pop goes country. That was pretty crazy, I never expected ever that I would do something like that. And they want it to be a challenge every week, especially with me knowing I do country a lot, so they have to throw anything they can. And then to have the girls dancing behind me and stuff, that was pretty cool. I never thought I'd have that ever. That was probably one of the best ones.

Yeah, the pop goes country night was pretty interesting, but you seem very, very country. What are your musical inspirations and influences?

Well, George Strait. Being I'm from Texas, he's right up the road from my hometown. I always loved his stuff. I've been singing country music since I was 14-years-old, that's when I first started singing at events and stuff. I taught myself guitar when I was 16 and all I played was country music. I mean, I love all kinds of music, I listen to everything, but I just always played country. My brother was the first one to start singing and I kind of followed along with him.

But yeah, Rhett Akins, Blackhawk. All types of country music artists, I've always followed along. I used to cover all them songs with my band when I used to play, so I've had a lot of influences. But George is probably one of my top picks.

Well, it's definitely been a lot of fun watching you progress over the season, so I really look forward to seeing what you do on Monday.

Yeah, thanks. Yeah, it's actually going to be pretty interesting because I've done up-tempos the whole show and it's going to be love song week. So I'm going to be showing America a different side, a little softer side of Gabe.

Well good luck on Monday, and thanks for talking with us.

Yeah, no problem.

- , BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Photo courtesy of NBC)