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Episode 2 - Surprise, I'm your Mentor!
Well, it’s the second episode of the new Nashville Star. I can guarantee you that the reviews will be more brief from this point forward, because the show simply doesn’t offer much room for positive commentary.
This week, we learn that the contestants have been grouped by gender and number, and each judge will serve as a mentor to one of the groups. So much for objectivity. Jewel gets the solo guys, John gets the solo girls, and Jeffrey gets the groups. The choices don’t make sense – but, on this show, what does? Allow me to state that this is an idiotic premise. The producers must have spent so much of John and Jewel’s presence that they couldn’t afford impartial mentors.
First up are Laura & Sophie, singing Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain by The Judds. I think this is the best song choice by any contestant so far. Their voices mesh perfectly, and they’ve got great stage presence. They still tend to look at each other a lot during the performance, but heck, so did The Judds. 4½ out of 5.
Ashlee Hewitt is next, with a really bad rendition of ”Ring of Fire”, a Johnny Cash classic. If she’d just sing, she’d be pretty good, but she’s doing that hiccup-style thing again with her voice, and it’s becoming increasingly bothersome. 2 out of 5.
Justin Gaston is the next to perform, singing Drops of Jupiter’s Hey There Delilah. I’m now convinced that Justin doesn’t know any country songs. His pitch is still bad, and his performance is incredibly weak. If he keeps this up, his looks won’t be enough to keep him on the show. 2 out of 5.
Next up is Alyson Gilbert, singing Every Breath You Take by the Police. I’m wondering where the country music idea went. It’s a much better performance than last week’s, not nearly as scary, and her voice shows its quality this time. 3 out of 5.
Pearl Heart is next, with an impressive rendition of Who Says You Can’t Go Home? by Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles. While it’s technically a pop/rock song, Pearl Heart does a great job of making it country. Great harmonies, and a very good performance. 4½ out of 5.
Up next is Tommy Stanley, with a disappointing version of Big & Rich’s Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy. It’s a karaoke performance best suited for a fraternity party. You can see better than this in multiple Nashville locations every night. 1 out of 5.
Gabe Garcia is the next to perform, and he chooses Have You Ever Seen the Rain? by Credence Clearwater Revival. Jeez, can we please get the people some country songs to sing? Gabe’s a nice guy, but his voice is still imbued with that nasal quality, and he’s kind of boring. George Strait has the pipes to just stand and sing, but Gabe needs some charisma or he’ll be gone soon.
Shawn Mayer takes a huge chance with He Stopped Loving Her Today, the George Jones classic. It’s a bold move, but ultimately isn’t very successful. It’s a signature song, and changing the arrangement was a mistake. 2 out of 5.
Continuing the string of non-country song choices, Coffey performs John Mayer’s Waiting on the World to Change. A good, but not great, performance. His performance seems to be incredibly choreographed and over-rehearsed. 3 out of 5.
Before the bottom two perform (another change), we’re treated to Trace Adkins singing You’re Gonna Miss This, which is apparently going to be the exit theme for the eliminated contestants. Overall, it’s a boring interlude.
Melissa Lawson is next, and she’s chosen Aretha Franklin’s You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman). Okay, I’ve given up on the idea that this show is a country music competition. Melissa has a good voice for the Broadway stage, but she can’t hit and hold the high notes. 3 out of 5.
Third Town is the last to perform, and their initial choice, believe it or not, is Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. I almost turned off the television. Thanks to Jeffrey Steele for making them see the error of their ways. Instead, they perform Alabama’s Mountain Music. After they started, I wished they’d have stuck with Queen. They were off-key, the tempo was bad, and the lead singer was disappointing. This sounded like Hayseed Dixie doing an Alabama parody. 1 out of 5.
It’s time for the elimination, and Third Town is given the heave-ho.
I was hoping the show would improve, but no such luck. Next week’s theme is “Pop Goes Country”, so I’m really not looking forward to it. Maybe I’ll be wrong.
6/25/2008, 9:22 am
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