Last week's Nashville Star
was full of drama and intrigue when we got a behind the scenes peek at the meltdowns of a few of the contestants. Things are heating up, and some contestants aren't able to handle the fire.
So who was able to dance with the flame this week, and who found themselves toast? Last night the remaining six Nashville Star
finalists performed love songs, and most rocked it. Though we were told previously that two more acts would be leaving, in the end only one act flamed out and the remaining five were left to blaze for at least another week.
The first safe contestant was Ashlee Hewitt
, who performed the Dixie Chicks' “Cowboy Take Me Away.” She told us that she has never been in love but understands the lamentations in the song. After a mostly solid performance with a few vocal problems, Jewel
told Ashlee that she likes her understated style and thinks she's an artist. Jeffrey Steele
didn't like Ashlee last week but liked her this week, and John Rich
thought Ashlee's confidence has been growing every episode.
was called second to sing Billy Currington's “Must Be Doin' Something Right,” which he said was his and his ex-girlfriend's song. He had to leave her to pursue his music career, and so he dedicated his performance to her. Jeffrey said that he thinks Gabe only gets better and better and John agreed, saying that though he thought the NBC execs who hand picked the contestants this season got it right with at least Gabe despite picking many other questionable acts. Jewel wasn't quite as gushing, saying that she still wants Gabe to work the audience more.
was also safe and sang Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's “It's Your Love.” He was very emotional during his video package because the song brought to mind his late mother, and that emotion was prevalent throughout his low-key performance. All three judges thought that, though there were a few pitch problems, Coffey gave a great, emotional performance.
performed next, breaking out with “My Baby Loves Me” by Martina McBride. It was big and brassy and sung as quite the woman power anthem. Jewel confessed that she didn't know if the song would work, but thought Melissa pulled it off. Both John and Jeffrey, however, thought she went a little over the top.
The bottom two for the evening based on last week's votes were Laura and Sophie
and Shawn Mayer
. Laura and Sophie performed first, singing Taylor Swift's “Picture to Burn.” They mostly alternated verses instead of harmonizing and it became clear, to my ear anyway, that Laura is by far the better singer of the two. John didn't bother criticizing them, saying instead that he was still mad about Sophie rolling her eyes at Jewel's comments last week and demanding an explanation. Sophie proceeded to hem and haw that she didn't realize she did it, but based on Laura and Sophie's comments when I interviewed them last week, I don't think that's entirely true. Jewel and Jeffrey stick to judging and both say the girls didn't do all that great.
Shawn was the last to go and she broke out with a song that has now become a reality singing competition standby: Carrie Underwood's “Before He Cheats.” It's a bold, angry song that she dedicated to all the people who have been spurned by cheating significant others, like she has been. All three judges had nothing but praise for Shawn, with John saying that this was the performance he wanted to pull out of her all these weeks.
Elimination time. After another million-year pause, Billy Ray Cyrus
revealed that, unsurprisingly, Laura and Sophie were eliminated. After some words of thanks to the audience, and some words from their mentor Jeffrey, Billy Ray bids us goodnight while telling us that next week will be the original song night. Seems like the remaining five Nashville Star
artists are about to really get tested.
- , BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Photo courtesy of NBC)