It’s original song night on Nashville Star! Hooray for no awkward covers! They’re performing at the Grand Ole Opry! I really should stop using so many exclamation points!


1. Coffey
Song: "Southern Man"

The musical arrangement could use some work, though it might’ve been just the mix. No…it’s the arrangement. I don’t like it. But the song has promise. He did much better than on his covers. Jeffrey Steele has a point that it’s a bit novelty, but he thought Coffey pulled it off. John Rich doesn’t dig it and thinks it’ll be hard to get it radio play. This coming from a man who got famous in part thanks to recording tracks with a Country rapper named Cowboy Troy.

2. Melissa Lawson
Song: "Ready To Stand"

It’s got a early Faith/Dixie Chicks quality to it and it’s very radio friendly. I like it. The musical accompaniment seems just about as soft as the first number so it wasn’t just Coffey. All the judges are impressed.

Before we get to the next contestant, the judges take the stage to kill some time…I mean, perform songs they’ve written for us. Jewel starts first and she’s wearing the highest heels I’ve ever seen someone playing the guitar wear. She does "You Were Meant For Me" and "Foolish Games." Say what you will about her but she has amazing control over her voice. Jeffrey is next. For some reason I didn’t realize he could sing. I never realized but he looks like a cross between the guy who played Ming on SciFi Channel’s Flash Gordon and John "Pa Kent" Schneider. He does "What Hurts The Most" and "The Cowboy In Me," recorded by Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw respectively. John Rich comes on and does one partial song before Jewel joins him and Jeffrey on stage for the second – "Hicktown" and "Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)."

3. Gabe Garcia
Song: "Lost Weekend"

This is the second radio friendly song. I’m impressed. He did a good job, though he still needs to step up the stage presence a bit. Jewel gave a good note to make sure he maintains his identity and doesn’t sound generic.

Bottom Two
1. Ashlee Hewitt
Song: "Mike’s Hard Lemonade"

I think she sounds much better than when she does covers. Yet another radio friendly tune. John’s advice in the pre-taped package telling her to make sure she enunciates was good. I like it. If she goes home, it’s a good note to go out on. She’ll get signed anyway.

2. Shawn Mayer
Song: "I’m Not Looking Back"

It’s a great song and a solid performance. I’m really impressed. The notes weren’t always, always there but I think she got a little wrapped up in the emotion of the moment. She held it together well. Jeffrey says he can easily see someone like Faith or Martina singing that song and adds, no matter what happens tonight, she’s got a bright future. If Martina sang this song, she’d blow the roof off the place.

Can we put a moratorium on unnecessarily long pauses for the results on these talent shows? Anywho, the bell has tolled for Ashlee and it’s her time to leave the show. But, like I said, I have every confidence that she’ll get a deal out of this.

Did the right person get sent home? Who do you think will be out next week? I was really impressed by everyone’s songs. Which were your favorites? Which was your least favorite? Any other thoughts?

Posted by:Tamara Brooks