Wednesday, April 26, 2006
That OTHER Singing Talent Show
With Rascal Flatts on top of the Billboard charts for the third week in a row with their new album (and two other country artists in the top ten), it's time to talk about Nashville Star. Next week is the season finale when they crown a new star and believe me, I'm a lot more excited about hearing the debut album of Chris Young (the 20 year old tall glass of water who is certain to win) than I will be of anyone from "Idol." Unlike "Idol," they get the biggest names in country music to appear and perform -- including Kenny Rogers (before he went on "Idol") and Hank Williams Jr and Big & Rich, etc. (David Foster was a guest judge last week before jumping to "Idol" this week -- making "Idol" look especially also-ran.) Host Wynonna Judd never met a cliche she didn't love -- pure country sap. But the artists tend to be older than the kids on "Idol" and much more experienced (most have been performing for years locally or on tour with their bands). Last night, Casey Rivers gave the front runner a scare by digging into "How Great Thou Art" with Presley-like fervor and hitting a big note at the finale a la "Idol." (No fair, playing the religion card!) But Chris Young is a star and his original number (they all have to perform an original that they've written themselves -- another thing that distinguishes this show) was a gem last week. Rivers performed like a contestant having a great night. Young performed like a pro. He'll probably sing his original again at the finale so don't miss it next Tuesday at 10 p.m. on USA.