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Nashville Star - What happened this week? - April 19, 2003
Number One Songs
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April 19, 2003 was the date of episode 7 for Nashville Star. This week the contestants performed songs that had hit the top of the charts, plus they sang another of their original songs.

We were shown again the challenge the contestants had to sing the National Anthem at the Nascaar Virginia 500, and they traveled in celebrity style in a tour bus. On the bus, the contestants say how good it was knowing Amy, and how they'll miss her and all drink a toast with various beverages, John Arthur pouring his in his boot.

Since this week's theme is No. 1 songs, the contestants sang "Another Day In Paradise" as a group, and then were joined by Phil himself, which I really liked. The previous guests only had a few lines to say here and there, and didn't perform. This was a welcome change. Again, the guys sounded much better than the girls. Maybe because the song is a male-recorded song? Or perhaps because of the key it was sung in? Not sure the reason, but the girls just didn't sound good singing their solo parts.

After the performance we get to see the contestants arriving in Virginia and being taken to the track and driven around in golf carts and meeting fans. Then, we hear part of their performance of the National Anthem. They remark how great it was to actually sing that in front of so many people.

Next, back to the theater, and Nancy says that they will again call the contestants out to sing and that the one not called out was the one eliminated by the fan voting last week.

First performance was from John Arthur Martinez, who sang "But For The Grace of God," and his own song, called "Home Made of Stone."

Tracy: "Ahh, John Arthur, I have no doubt that you will make that house of stone for your wife one day. You know, throughout this whole competition you've kinda moved ahead in a very quiet slow and very classy way. And very consistant throughtout this whole time. What I would still like to see from you, though, is John Arthur rocking out."
Robert: "You don't listen to her. You're doing just great, john arthur. I'm just so proud for all of you to be here. And the reason you're all here is that you're great writers, and that's a wonderful song. And even though we heard a million people sing "But for the Grace of God," when we were out there on the road, you made it fresh, and you're just dandy."
Charlie: "I think the original song was great, and I think what you're strong point is is making a song your own, and I didn't feel like you did that with the "Grace of God." I think you have got something better in you. (Tracy replies: "Oh, you and Robert need to fight right now. Duke it out.")

We check in with Phil Vassar next. Nancy asks him: "You became a Nashville Star as a songwriter first, and of course now as a fabulous singer. We talked a little bit about the show before. You said you've been watching it. What do you think of the competition?"
Phi replies: "I think it's awesome. I'm just glad to be a part of it. It's really funny. I like these guys are hilarious (points at judges) But it's really, really fun to watch these guys and how they've developed over the last few shows, and their songs are great, and they're honest, and true to themselves. And I think that's what makes a songwriter and artist a real artist, I think. And I'm real proud of them."

Second performance was from Brandi, who sang "How Do You Like Me Now?!" and her own song, called "Take Her Picture."

Robert: "Hey Brandy. Really, really clever choice of a cover song that is so male identified, and you turned it around. That worked really well for me. That's the song, the original song that you sang just now, that's what got you into this contest in the first place, and thirdly, I like your new hairdo."
Charlie: "I think your stage presence in your originals is you. And I love that. When you come out and sing cover songs, it feels like you're trying to be somebody else. I mean, if you can find out who you are in your originals..." (Tracy replies: "Oh, she's Brandi.")
Tracy: "But listen. One of you guys is going to have a record deal, and you're gonna be out on that stage alot, and so I'm going for constructive criticism here. What I've been noticing about you is that you're a little pitchy, especially at the end of a phrase. you have to watch that, cuz I'm seeing a consistancy in that."

Next, we get to see the contestants on the bus, visiting different radio stations. They talk to some callers and it looks like they may have sung on the radio, as John Arthur had his guitar with him, but they didn't show that on TV.

Third performance was from Buddy, who sang "This Must Be Love," and his own song, called "Abilene On Her Mind."

Charlie: "In my opinion, there's too many of these wussy little 23 year old kids playing music today. They need a 41 year old man to show them how to sing."
Robert: "I defy any contestant on American Idol to even write a song, never mind write a hit song, which is what that is." (Charlie replies: "Settle down Robert.")
Tracy: "You are so ready to make a record, and I'm ready to make one on ya, Buddy." (Buddy replies: "Let's do it.")

We check in once more with Phil Vassar. Nancy asks him, Now Phil, this can be a tough business. What do you think about how they're handling all the stress up here?
Phil replies: "They look good to me. They look like seasoned vets out here. I mean, I'm really proud of you guys. It's something else. When you're coming out, you're taking over the stage, you're taking over the country, the world. This is awesome. Good job."

They bring out Miranda and Brandon, and when the envelope is opened, Miranda is safe, and Brandon is going home. Nancy calls him over and he puts his fingers to his eyes and looks to be crying. Nancy asks him what he would like to say. He takes his hands away from his face and says "I'm kidding, by the way." He says that he can't believe he made it as far as he did, and if anyone wants to get drunk tonight, where he's gonna be is the place. He hugs the rest of the contestants goodbye and leaves.

Miranda comes out and sings "Somebody Like You," and her own song, called "Oh, California," which she dedicates to Brandon.

Charlie: "Hey Miranda. Man, you've got such a strong voice. I love your voice so much. It's my favorite. And I felt like that first song, you just tiptoed through it. It didn't show how strong you were."
Tracy: "I disagree. I thought you kicked butt on that first one. And also, when you get your publishing deal ask that you get a bathroom instead of a writers room, because you did very well writing that song in there."
Robert: "I just have this huge crush on you. I love you. (Miranda replies: "I love you too, Robert K. Oermann.")

Phil is backstgage with the gang. He just says he's proud to be there.

My comments?

  • I enjoyed all the performances again this week, and again thought Buddy sounded the best on both of his songs.
  • I liked John Arthur's performance of "But For The Grace of God," but enjoyed his original more.
  • I thought Brandi did a good job on "How Do You Like Me Now?!" and thought her original was good as well. I think that through all the weeks, she's never been as good as she was on that first show, however.
  • I liked Miranda's original, but didn't care much for her singing "Somebody Like You." That little flutter in her voice is starting to get annoying to me. She sounds the same on all her songs.
  • I was happy to see the gang sing at the Nascaar race, and was even happier that no nasty footage was shown this week.

    Next week's show will be "Duets" where they'll sing a duet with a top Nashville recording artist.

    Do you have a favorite Nashville Star?
    Feel free to vote for your favorite below.
    I'll include polls with the current contestants in my updates each week.

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