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Registered: 05-2003
Posts: 2947
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Episode 4 - Family Night


After last week’s “pop Goes Country” debacle, I’m hoping that maybe we’ll get to hear a significant amount of real country music this week. While I’m at it, I’m hoping to lose forty pounds overnight, win the lottery and see world peace.

Oh, Lord, Billy Ray’s got yet another daughter who looks like she wants to be in show business. Just wondering – what would possess someone to choose the name Noah for their daughter?

Apparently, tonight is “family night” on Nashville Star, and we’re told each contestant will perform two songs. I wonder if it’s possible to do one episode without a gimmick…

Ashlee Hewitt’s made it through another week, and she’s performing Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing. Would someone please provide these contestants with a catalog of country music? Well, for Ashlee, it’s pretty much the same performance she’s given each week. Good enough voice, but her overdone Southern accent and mechanical mannerisms are getting old. For her second song, she’s chosen Kris Kristofferson’s Help Me Make it Through the Night. She’s back to the hiccup-style of singing, sadly. What’s this - she’s limited to a 45-second song? Why bother? Woefully, it took less than 45 seconds to disappoint me. Overall, 3 out of 5.

It’s Coffey’s turn, and he’s decided to try a country song for a change, the Hank Williams classic, Hey, Good Lookin’. His performance is bad – really bad. The vocals are lazy, there’s no emotion, and he continually has to encourage the audience to pretend that they’re enjoying this mess. John Rich is right (did I just write that?) – no matter how many cowboy hats this guy wears, he’s simply not country. Unbelievably, his performance of John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads is even worse. On a scale of 1 to 5, I’m giving Coffey a 0. I refuse to delve into negative numbers.

Here’s a surprise – Tommy Stanley has survived another week, and he’s actually chosen a country song (well, semi-country, anyway), Rascal Flatts’ Bless the Broken Road. Tommy combines a nasal quality with a whiny inflection and pitch problems, and manages to to turn this into a really bad pop version of the song. His follow-up is Elton John’s Tiny Dancer, and he makes Tim McGraw’s version sound Grammy-worthy by comparison. Tommy gets 0 out of 5 tonight.

Can we eliminate more than one this week? Please?

Next up is Pearl Heart, and they’re singing Restless Heart’s I’ll Still be Loving You, a favorite of Jeffrey Steele. They nailed it, plain and simple. Maybe I’m influenced by the really good harmonies, or by the abominable performances that previous acts, but I enjoyed this one tremendously. They finish with LeAnn Rimes’ One Way Ticket (Because I Can), and I’m impressed again by their harmonies. 4½ out of 5.

Melissa Lawson, one of the judges’ favorites, is up next, singing Martina McBride’s This One’s for the Girls. She’s got a really good voice, but, to me, her performance had a lot of Broadway in it. Her facial expressions and mannerisms were overemphasized, and I had a Brandi Gibson flashback – not a good thing. The judges, however, gush. Her second song is an average cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide (there’s no way that Nashville Star would mention The Dixie Chicks, of course). 3½ out of 5.

Shawn Mayer’s next, and she’s going for Faith Hill’s Breathe. She showcases a really good voice, and good emotion, but she’s got some beauty pageant mannerisms that need to go. She finishes with Forever and Ever, Amen by Randy Travis, a somewhat odd choice, but she manages it pretty well. Thank goodness she decided to abandon her idea of singing John Lennon’s Imagine. 3½ out of 5.

Our special guest performer this week is Blake Shelton, singing Home, backed up by the contestants. Nice, but nothing special.

Another favorite of the judges, Gabe Garcia has chosen to perform Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive. We’ve apparently left the country music genre again. Although the judges rave, I’m not impressed. Gabe’s a nice guy with a good voice, but his personality isn’t what I’d call electric. Frankly, I’m bored. He ends with George Strait’s The Fireman, which reminds me of Karaoke night at the local bowling lanes. 3 out of 5.

Alyson Gilbert is one of the bottom two, and she must know that her days are numbered. She’s decided to perform Trisha Yearwood’s She’s in Love with the Boy, and look, our pageant queen is back. Wide-eyed, mugging for the camera, off-key, off-tempo… this is a train wreck. Thankfully, she doesn’t get to do a second song unless she advances. 0 out of 5.

I’m disappointed that Laura and Sophie are in the bottom two, and that Coffey and Tommy Stanley are still safe. The girls perform Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves. Another pop song, but they do a good job of making it country. Good harmonies make it a good overall performance. 3 out of 5.

It’s elimination time, and Alyson gets the boot. It’s not a big surprise, based on her performances. Laura and Sophie finish up with a decent version of Reba McEntire’s Because of You.

My reviews will be getting shorter each week. It’s not because the number of contestants will be reduced. It’s because I’m more and more disappointed each week by the whole production. Jeffrey Steele, along with the band, are the only bright spots in the show. John Rich and Jewel bog the show down with their massive egos, Billy Ray is a walking advertisement for adult education, and I could have picked a dozen more talented acts simply by visiting the clubs on Broadway in Nashville.

FYI to John Rich - most people can be honest without being mean. You should try it sometime.
7/1/2008, 7:22 am Link to this post Send Email to LongtimeCountryFan   Send PM to LongtimeCountryFan ICQ
 
Yankeefromboston Profile
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Registered: 02-2004
Posts: 352
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Re: Episode 4 - Family Night


Garry,

Way to Go man! You definitely have chronicled this disaster of a show with this review. Thanks for making any comments by me unnecessary.

You nailed it!

Russ
7/1/2008, 7:58 am Link to this post Send Email to Yankeefromboston   Send PM to Yankeefromboston
 
Yankeefromboston Profile
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Registered: 02-2004
Posts: 352
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Re: Episode 4 - Family Night


Garry,

It's not just us...

http://www.film.com/tv/story/nashville-star-nbc-ruining-perfectly/13982602/21477235
Here's another negative article about the show.

7/1/2008, 8:07 am Link to this post Send Email to Yankeefromboston   Send PM to Yankeefromboston
 
marynord Profile
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Registered: 05-2003
Location: Fox Lake, Illinois
Posts: 1890
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Re: Episode 4 - Family Night


This was the first time I got to watch the entire show and it was awful. How could NBC take a good show and turn it into such a disaster. I don't think any of the contestants have as much talent as most of even the early loosers in the USA network series. Where did they get them. Did no one with talent tryout. I am not sure I will waste my time watching again. I will save some money and make a trip to Nashville and visit the clubs.
7/1/2008, 8:41 am Link to this post Send Email to marynord   Send PM to marynord MSN Yahoo
 
Cliffwalker Profile
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Registered: 05-2004
Posts: 232
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Re: Episode 4 - Family Night


Plenty of great talent tried out... plenty of people who are ready to be signed tried out. They were all passed over because the big brains at NBC felt it would be more "compelling" to show a bunch of undeveloped teenagers instead of talented artists on the verge. emoticon

mc


---
http://www.mikeclifford.com
7/3/2008, 11:11 am Link to this post Send Email to Cliffwalker
 
marynord Profile
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Registered: 05-2003
Location: Fox Lake, Illinois
Posts: 1890
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Re: Episode 4 - Family Night


Instead of Nashville, maybe I should come to Austin and the surrounding area. I miss Texas and could use a good dose of Texas country music. Or, if gas doesn't get too much higher, I could do both.
7/7/2008, 7:16 am Link to this post Send Email to marynord   Send PM to marynord MSN Yahoo
 


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