Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Who Needs "American Idol?"

A new music star was born last night and it wasn't on "American Idol." It happened on "Nashville Star," the USA network's spin on "Idol" that has already delivered several best-selling country artists and just crowned its new winner: Chris Young. The big difference between the two shows is that "Nashville Star" has no age limit, the performers can play instruments and they're all expected to perform an original song or two. This season, they were heavy on talented male artists but the breakout star was Chris Young, a tall glass of water who is just 20 years old (I would have sworn he was 30). His main competition was Casey Rivers, who has a really good voice and is always nattily (and carefully) dressed with a casual necklace and designer jeans that show he has a real eye for clothing. (I'm just saying.) But Chris got better and better every week. And the night they performed their original songs, Young performed a stone cold classic called "Drinking Me Lonely" that sent chills down your spine. (The shot of his competitors as they listened was hilarious -- they looked like they'd just been run over by an 18 wheeler.) In last night's finale, he reprised that song again and his competitors sang along just like everyone else. I am much more excited about Young's debut album -- though I hope they don't rush it out, like they usually do, and give him a chance to contribute more than one or two originals. But whatever happens, he has the makings of a real superstar.

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