The final six contestants perform love songs on tonight’s Nashville Star. Insert witty quip and/or pun here.
1. Ashlee Hewitt
Song: "Cowboy Take Me Away" by The Dixie Chicks
Hmm…I liked the song choice, it’s way better than last week (stupid John Rich) but she seemed a little sharp a lot of song. Or maybe she just wasn’t settling in on the notes before going into her vocal effects. I think it would be much better if she took it a little slower and just played the guitar, minus the band.
2. Gabe Garcia
Song: "Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right" by Billy Currington
This is by far his best performance in my opinion. The vocals were right on (even despite the flight bauble with the high note towards the end) and this is the most comfortable and at ease he’s seemed all season. In his "critique," John says he had his doubts when he heard that NBC execs were picking the finalists but, after a performance like Gabe’s, it gives him hope that "the suits" are figuring out what "good Country music" is all about. He also mentioned that he doesn’t think some of the singers shouldn’t have been on the show. Special.
Song: "It’s Your Love" by Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
He’s dedicating the song to his mother, who has passed away. He starts to cry about three-quarters of the way through it but he manages to hold it together. Definitely the best performance by far from him. Sure, there were pitch problems but that’s because he was so emotional. Plus it made him focus a lot more so he wasn’t so shakey-kitten voiced, which I deeply appreciate. John says he doensn’t like to "crack [on] other artists." Could’ve fooled me. Props from all the judges for being so real and showing a lot of promise.
4. Melissa Lawson
Song: "My Baby Loves Me" by Martina McBride
Watching Melissa work the stage, in comparison to 75-percent of the other contestants, is like day and night. She’s easily the most comfortable up there and really relates to the audience. She sounded great, as always, though I find I sometimes ignore the song and just listen to her voice (if that makes sense).
So it’s down to the last two – Laura & Sophie and Shawn Mayer – but we get to hear them sing before we find out who’s bounced.
1. Laura & Sophie
Song: "Picture to Burn" by Taylor Swift
It’s nice to hear them sing an "age appropriate" song even if they didn’t sound great. The stage presence was off and on, but more on than usual. The outfits are much better – they don’t look like they’re on the Good Ship Lollipop. John, instead of giving them a critique, asks Sophie why on earth she thought it was okay to roll her eyes at Jewel last week. I didn’t even notice that. She apologizes and says she didn’t realize she did it, which happens. The hostility from two-thirds of the judges is palpable.
2. Shawn Mayer
Song: "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood
This is a tough song because Carrie is such a great vocalist, it’s hard to match that. I think she did a good job – she put a lot of personality in it and worked the stage well (but I’d rather hear the original, no offense). Happy thoughts from the judges, especially from John who says he’s been waiting for her to perform like this from the beginning. Ironic.
After the requisite to-do, Laura & Sophie must go home. Unsurprisingly. They’ll be really good in a few years…just not now. It surprising that Laura, the younger of the two, seems to have handled this whole thing with more aplomb. I’m also slightly surprised John Rich didn’t do a jig of happiness when they were booted.
Does anyone anywhere think the wrong act went home? Any other thoughts/comments/questions? Next week is orginal songs night which should be interesting. And one last thought – who’s doing the make-up tonight? All the girls look a little "drag" tonight. They need to watch it with the lip liner…
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