On Nashville Star tonight, the final four contestants performed original songs. It was Original Song Night.  This was a scary thought, at least for me, going into the episode, but Nashville Star brought the goods tonight.  All five contestants pulled off radio-ready country songs, and there was nothing cringe-worthy – not even in the lyrics.  Does this mean it’s easy to write country songs?  One contestant, for instance, had only been writing songs for a few months, yet produced a solid country ballad.  Impressive, to say the least.  Five singers performed, one was eliminated, and the dust will settle for good next week on Nashville Star.

Here is the action of tonight’s episode as it happened: 

My man Coffey leads off the show.  He’s got the votes. Coffey doesn’t have the strongest voice in the world, but he maximizes the potential he’s got.  It’s got some pretty cool, easy to listen to lyrics.  The song is basically about how Coffey is a different sort of southern man.  At one point, he talks about greeting Jews with hugs.  Not your typical country music sort of thing.  But, I thought it sounded ready for country radio.  John Rich didn’t think the song was radio ready, but I think he’s wrong.  Jewel and Mr. Steele are fans.

Melissa Lawson is going to sing “Reason to Stand.”  She hasn’t been writing songs for very long (just a couple months), but Rich thinks the song is pretty good.  She sings the song just fine, but it’s your typical, cookie cutter modern country ballad.  It’s like it came of the assembly line.  Talky verses, grand/bland chorus, and totally unmemorable.  I’m not terribly impressed.  But, the crowd seems to love it.  And the judges love it too. 

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The last automatic finalist of the night was Gabe Garcia, who is singing a song called “Lost Weekend.”  The song is extremely nostalgic, sentimental, about a couple trying to relive their past, reignite the spark they used to have.  It’s either poignant or horribly shlock-y – I can’t decide.  It’s got a funky little vibe, and the chorus is somewhat catchy.  Sounds exactly like something you’d hear on country radio. The judges enjoy it, but Rich tells Gabe to really improve his connection with the audience. 

Ashlee Hewitt’s original song is called “Mike’s Hard Lemonade.”  Yeah, you read that correctly.  She’s been writing songs since she was 11.  The song, however, is pretty darn good.  The song is a naughty little story, and it works.  Maybe the best song, overall, of the night.  This is a talented girl. 

Shawn Mayer is going to sing a song called “Not Looking Back.”  It’s about the love of her life who she left behind in Iowa.  Shawn is quite emotional.  I swear to god I’ve heard this song.  It’s about the most typical country ballad ever.  It’s easily the weakest song of the night.  Her voice gets out of tune during the chorus, as well. 

Ashlee and Shawn were in the bottom two.  Elimination time came, and after the longest delay ever, Ashlee was eliminated, which is a damn shame.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of NBC)