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Episode 3 - Pop Goes Country
"Next week’s theme is “Pop Goes Country”, so I’m really not looking forward to it. Maybe I’ll be wrong."
I wrote that after last week’s show. After this week’s, I can tell you that I wasn’t wrong.
Tonight it’s “Pop Goes Country”. The “first time ever on Nashville Star”, according to Billy Ray Cyrus. Would someone get him a DVD of Season One, please? Anyway, the premise is supposed to be that these contestants turn pop songs into country songs. We’ll see.
We get some good news to start the show. Tommy Stanley, our naval contestant, is in the bottom two of votes received. Good call, America.
After the good news comes the bad. We’re subjected to an ensemble performance of Madonna’s Like a Prayer, and there’s not a single thing country about it. The only thing about this disaster that stood out was Tommy’s truly awful voice. I’m seriously re-thinking my choice to watch and review each episode this season.
First up this week is Gabe Garcia, and he’s chosen Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca. Oh, this is bad. He’s apparently cornered the market on twang, but he forgot to pick up some charisma while he was at it. There was nothing country about this performance at all.
Note to all contestants: Dropping the final “g” from words, and saying “y’all” doesn’t make a song country.
Pearl Heart performs next, turning the B-52’s classic Love Shack into a bluegrass version, and it works! They knocked it out of the park this time with great harmonies and truly country twist. 4½ out of 5.
Next up is Alyson Gilbert, and she falls flat with I Think We’re Alone Now, a Tommy James classic that was a big pop hit for Tiffany. She’s got a really good voice, but had a couple of pitch problems. The main problem with the performance is that it was just plain boring. 3 out of 5.
Ashlee Hewitt performs next, choosing You Drive Me Crazy by Brittney Spears. Apparently, she’s either got a really annoying phrasing habit, or she’s got a permanent case of the hiccups. Either way, I wasn’t impressed at all. 2 out of 5.
One observation: I’m pretty sure that there are audience prompter signs that encourage standing ovations at key points. Either that, or the audience is deaf. Or the seats are electrified.
Coffey is next, and he’s chosen to turn Rihanna’s Umbrella into a country song. Oops, wait a second, he’s chosen not to make it country – unless I missed the part where beatboxing is country. It’s a good performance for American Idol, but not for Nashville Star. 1 out of 5.
Our next performers are Laura & Sophie. When I heard they were doing a Michael Jackson song, I almost choked. However, they took PYT (Pretty Young Thing) and made it work! Their harmonies are still top-notch, and they’ve got a future in this business. 4½ out of 5.
Guest act Dannity Kane performs Damaged, which is what this show’s credibility has become. Why are we being subjected to this? Thank goodness for DVR.
Shawn Mayer’s song choice is NSYNC’s Bye Bye Bye, and she actually does a pretty decent job with it. It’s a gutsy choice, and she manages to make it fairly country. 3½ out of 5.
Our next contestant is Melissa Lawson, and she’s chosen Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors, Sadly, there’s nothing country about the performance. Her picth was off in spots, and it’s yet another boring performance. 2 out of 5.
Now we’re down to the final two. One’s already been eliminated, but he just doesn’t know it yet. Justin Gaston sings Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Are you kidding me? Although the judges were complimentary, I thought it was painful. 1½ out of 5.
Tommy Stanley’s choice is Michael Sembello’s Maniac. Once again, we’re subjected to a performance that bears no resemblance to country music. After this fiasco, we’re certainly not left wanting more. 1 out of 5.
Now we’re down to the elimination, and it’s Justin’s time to say goodbye. I thought the wrong guy went home, but I’m confident that Tommy will also be gone soon.
Here’s hoping that next week’s show is an improvement. If not, we may see the rest of the episodes on Bravo (where low-rated NBC shows go to die).
6/25/2008, 9:58 am
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