I went to the Predators game last night (bleh), so my Nashville Star viewing was from DVR. I first want to say that I don’t think I’ve ever had so many tears watching a reality show before. So many moments. This is why I love country music. You could see it in the show: real people. Real problems. Real Joy. You just can’t get that from “singing contests” where the point is to pick the best Perfect Plastic Person.
I’ll get right to the contestants, so I’ll leave the “star” performances alone (although I think it was the height of irony that Blake was “pitchy”).
First up was Zac. When he started his song, “Lady” (you know, sung Kenny Rogers written by Lionel Ritchie?), I thought he made a huge tactical mistake. The song is too flat, I thought. Boy, was I wrong. Even though his voice was scratchy, his performance sent chills down my spine. I’m starting to believe he could move people by singing the phone book.
Joshua Stevens put in a great performance of that Tim McGraw song from Flicka (Better Love, or something like that). He was good, and the performance was heartfelt. What they did in his video intro just didn’t seem right. Somehow, a televised, made-for-tv meeting with the mother who abandoned him seemed contrived. Perhaps it’s because my wife had a much more private meeting with her birthmother a few years ago. I just felt like we were eavesdropping on a too private moment.
David St Romain did a really good job with “Live Like You Were Dying” (as an aside – I’m SOOOOO tired of that song!) I really wish he had gone with his first instinct (Travis Tritt’s “Anymore”). The bridge is so well written, perfect for his voice, he would have killed. But David did do something I was quite proud of. He did a “cold” key change between the first verse and chorus; usually you don’t do that till you’ve sang the chorus a few times. He deserves kudos for that, because it is extremely difficult. He attempted some vocal acrobatics and the end, and missed the note. Probably won’t cost him votes, though. Blake was a real smarta** in his comments; remind me not to buy his music anymore.
Angela. Angela. Angela Hacker. I think I’ve finally figured out what is is about her. She’s a good singer, not a spectacular one. She’s pretty, but average in the “sexy” department. Yet, make no mistake: when she’s onstage, you can’t take your eyes off her. She’s got “it”. Like her brother, she sings with a soul you can’t learn. She’s a young Loretta Lynn. Her life experience actually flows throughout her singing; it’s a sterotypical country resume: alcoholic father, no-good lowdown ex husband, raising a kid on her own, dirt poor trailer park upbringing. She’s “old” (29) in comparison to the other contestants. But, like I said, you can’t take your eyes off her. She’s gonna be the Nashville Star (hope I didn’t jinx her)
Joshua Stevens was voted off (as expected). He’s very good, but he’s not “there” yet. He can’t carry a room.
Finally, Jewel has dressed quite conservatively since she let it be known that she didn’t like being known as the singer with big boobs. But not last night. She let the girls free!
Talk about not being able to take your eyes off of something…
But Jewel, I love you for your mind!