I'm the only blue-stater who watches "Nashville Star," the "American Idol" contest with a twang. Last year's winner Chris Young performed a fine new single "You're Gonna Love Me" in hopes of restarting his album, whcih has failed to make any long-term impression on the country charts. Several "Nashville Star" acts have turned into best-selling acts (including also-ran Miranda Lambert) but Young seems to be following in the footsteps of the sadly ignored Brad Cotter.
ZAC HACKER -- In his video intro, Zac played the Bible card, saying he was torn between being a preacher and a musician and went to his grandfather's house to pray and read the NT and decide. He chose music because he could reach a lot more people. (His daddy, had a band the Hacker Brothers that never made it.) Yeah, that's one reason he chose music -- we also see Zac signing a female fan's chest with a magic marker. When asked what he was looking for in a girlfriend, Zac ended with "doesn't get TOO drunk." He performed "Lady," which struck me as a bizarre choice since Zac's strength is bluesy rock. But he gave a really convincing, strong vocal. Blake Shelton, the judge that's been consistently hilarious all season, said he wished he could think of another way to say this but, "You're a very sexy man." He won't win, but Zac gave his sister a real run for her money.
JOSHUA STEVENS -- In his video intro, Joshua played the biological mom left me card one last time. We saw Joshua and his mom reuinted on camera. (Nothing says sincerity like taping your reunion for a TV contest.) Joshua sang "Please remember Me" pretty well, but I've never been impressed with his vocals as much as the judges sometimes were. He didn't make the cut and won't be in the finals. Blake said Joshua wasn't as country as the artists Blake likes but sang well tonight and host Jewel said if that was a compliment she didn't want to hear an insult.
DAVID ST. ROMAIN - Tiny sparkplug David proved a very good performer, doing a good "Live Like You Were Dying" but with a very rough final few notes. Blake was amusing again in addressing Blake's wife instead of Blake since she made the song selections and on-target when he wasn't sure what specific kind of artist David was. (His best number was a cover of a rock song.)
ANGELA HACKER -- She's been the front-runner since day one and the only week that might have tripped her up was original song week when her brother delivered a hell of a tune. But her song was good too, and she has such a lived-in, authentic voice that you can't help rooting for her. She sang "Strawberry Wine" and had terrific vocals. Plus she had BIG earrings and it doesn't get more country than that. If she doesn't win, I'll eat my (ten gallon cowboy) hat.