My first introduction to country music and the lifestyle itself occurred about twelve years ago. I was a Yankee all my life and the closest thing I got to country music was the one second of sound I heard when flipping past Yee-Haw. But it was my buddies who dragged me out to a country bar called The Banque in Virginia and opened my eyes to something new.
Now keep in mind this was in the era of Pearl Jam and Nirvana so I was clad in my best flannel grunge, hoop earring and checkered Vans. I felt a wee out of place you could say. That was, until I met Trish. Clad in red denim jeans, a daisy flowered shirt that showed midriff and blinding pearly whites, she spun me around that dance floor like it was her job. I managed to only poke my eye out twice on the seven inch high clump of hair I have affectionately grown to refer as the “claw” that contained two, possibly three bottles of Aquanet. I left that night a changed man. What does this have to do with tonight’s show of Nashville Star? Absolutely nothing. I just thought I’d share a story with you…
The Santa Went Down To Georgia
It’s Rebels and Outlaws night and who better to kick off the show than the man himself, Charlie Daniels. I’ll admit I was a little bummed that he didn’t sing that devil song as I love singing chicken in the bread pan picking out dough followed by my world famous air-fiddle. But he looked good and sang his ass off. He quite possibly set the new world record for largest belt buckle, though. That and his snowy white beard and shirt with horses on it. I didn’t know whether to lasso him or jump on his lap and ask for the Red Rider BB Gun.
It’s Bret Michaels birthday, so yay for him. That guy is ageless. He looks the same as he did a year ago. What’s his secret? Leann tries to get some conversation out of Justin David. He said he feels as nervous as long haired cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Leann can’t stop laughing and I’m left wondering if I missed the punch line.
Git Er Done
First up is Jenny Farrell. With two weeks of being puke free under her belt, Jenny shows us her chops with the Dottie West favorite Lesson In Leaving. She sounds great and I’m glad to see that country fans are willing to give someone a second chance.
Phil remarked that she looked the most comfortable since the last few times. Anastasia thinks Jenny is wound too tight and needs to feel the music. Bret tells her she needs a shot of Jack Daniels. For a sec I thought he said she needed a shot of Charlie Daniels which would’ve been nasty albeit entertaining.
Next up is Jayron Weaver who confides to us that he used to be known as the awkward and shy kid. That is, until he began singing to himself in the lunchroom. From then on he was known as the awkward, shy and freaky kid who sings to himself. Ah yes, the good ole days. Where have they gone?
Jayron does a pretty good job singing Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde and the judges all but handed him a recording contract. Phil thinks he might be the best singer in the competition. Stasia was glad he “connected” and looked her in the eyes. Brett tells Jayron that he’s looking at the next Nashville Star.
You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me!
I should quickly add that Cledus T. Judd has made an appearance but his role is worthless so I’m bypassing him in favor of the most boneheaded comment caught on tape.
Meet Justin David. A once probable Nashville Star who just secured his job as back up karaoke host at Hubcap Huckleberry’s in Dedoux, Mississippi. In his segue, Justin lets us all in on his master plan: he only needs to give a 110% in the finals. Great, the secret’s out. Good going Justin. Now Christy McDonald is gonna try the same thing. As long as the fans keep voting for him he’ll turn up the heat in the finals.
Now granted, he did do an ok job with John Hiatt’s Tennessee Plates. I’ll give him that much. After his performance, Leann asks him about his strategy. He’s aloof and kinda stoned looking. He’s not sure whether to say he did his best or not. Bret thinks he needs a little more energy. Anastasia isn’t so kind. She frankly tells him that she’s offended by his comments. It shouldn’t matter if it’s thirty or three hundred people he’s performing for. He should always be giving 110%. Well, he was 110% bonehead so I guess that gives him some merit. Phil, being Phil offers little advice, instead smoothing over Stasia’s icey comments by telling him to step it up next time.
We’re back from that gawd-awful Burger King commercial (thank goodness for DVR) and it’s time for something a little more refreshing. Erika Jo looks especially giggly tonight and is using all of the stage to sing. Erika sings Texas (When I Die) and sings it well. I know some were disappointed with her performance, but I think she’s rootin’ tootin’ good.
Phil tells her she has great stage presence. Bret tells her “don’t change.” Anastasia kicks it up a notch by saying she would like to see her veins pop out the next time she sings. Hey, if that’s going to happen, the first three rows might want to bring ponchos. I hear foundation is a bitch to clean off of polyester.
Last week saw the passing of Chris LeDoux, a country music legend with a rabid fan base and alter-like worship from other artists themselves. Rightfully so I might add. Jason Meadows is dedicating his performance to him and with a tear in his eye he praises his respect for Chris.
Jason changes up his wardrobe and winds up in something Billy Ray Cyrus would wear minus the mullet. He knocks What’s Your Name? out of the ball park and I’m really starting to dig this cool cowboy. He has a sound of some of the veteran singers yet is neatly folded into a contemporary package.
Phil tells Jason that he needs to figure out what sets him apart from the George Strait’s or the Traci Byrd’s of the industry. Anastasia agrees and Bret tells him to “be the cowboy that you are.”
The Chameleon Of Style, The Bedrock Of Performance
I’ll admit I have a schoolboy crush on Tamika Tyler. She’s sassy, fun and her accent buckles my knees. She also has a knack for mixing up her fashion style which keeps me on my toes. Last week she looked adorable as a Lhasa Apso. This week she’s delving into the 1960’s California beach look.
Fresh off the set of I Dream Of Jeannie And Gidget On The Beach, Tamika takes the stage. Striking a sideways pose, the lights come up and Tamika kicks in to a rousing performance of Martina McBride’s When God Fearing Women Get The Blues. She does Martina well and I watch with googly eyes as popcorn crumbs fall from my gaping mouth.
The good thing is I’m not the only one who loved her performance. Stasia tells her that she is the lead horse in the pack. Phil exclaims that she was stupid good (whatever that means) and Bret simply says brilliant.
We’re down to the final three. Casey, Christy and Jody are chomping at their nails as if they’re at a corn cob eating contest. Christy’s so nervous that she moves on to her toenails while waiting for Leann to announce the next singer.
Casey’s name is called and I’m excited to see how she’ll do. Casey sings Me And Bobby McGee and it’s a little rough. I find myself covering my eyes as the judges get ready to critique her performance. Bret plays it cool and tells her it’s a tough song to sing. Anastasia is a tad more blunt and says that it’s either “wrong for your voice or your voice is wrong for my ears.” Ouch! That’ll leave a mark. Phil quickly tries to get a word in before the stunned audience makes some jeers and tells Casey it’s hard to cover Janis Joplin. Pssst…hey Phil. What? No props for Kris Kristofferson?
So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Night
It’s Leann’s favorite part of the night. She’s jumpy and excited to give someone the boot. She does calm down a bit to make it look like she’s sad to kick someone off however. Drum roll please…..Ta da! Everyone’s favorite gal, Christy McDonald is getting the boot. Heck, she should get the boot alone based on the crocheted-doily-tablecloth-thingy she has hanging off her. Last time I saw something like that, my great grandmother Millie was churning butter by hand. Best of luck to you, Christy!
And that leaves us with our favorite flashback to the fifties, Jody Evans. Seems Jody has been poking around the internet message boards and has decided to stay away. I guess not everyone is on the Jody train. Well, I suppose he hasn’t been on Fans Of Reality TV because he’s fairing well on that site. *wink wink*
I wasn’t too impressed with Jody last week, but I was rocking along with him this week. I Fought The Law was a great choice for theme week and a parody to his full time job as a police officer. He really seemed to turn it on and Phil is glad he’s in the competition. Stasia loves his style and energy and Bret takes back what he said last week and tells him to stick to what you love to do.
We’re down to the elite eight and the competition is getting tight. Next week Sara Evans sings and Bret Michaels gives everyone a shot of Jack Daniels. Y’all come back now, ya hear.
Have a favorite Cledus memory you’d like me to include next time? Email me at: Speedbump@fansofrealitytv.com