FEBRUARY 22, 2007
OUR REMAINING CONTESTANTS TURNED IT AROUND AND MADE AN IMPACT THIS WEEK
The cream did rise to the top and Nashville Star is better for it. We, on the judging panel, had a completely different experience this week compared to last. Thankfully, there were special moments that helped it all make sense.
Zac: Looking back over past seasons of Nashville Star, Zac is the best example of someone finding their voice (or the right "lane" as I call it) while in the middle of the competition. Song selection was Zac's Rubik's cube and he solved it while preparing for Original Song Night. His critical choice of "Lady" put him at the top of the competition last week ... that's how important song selection is.
His authentic, soulful and powerful performance put his sister's "sure win" into question. No matter the outcome, Zac can feel proud for winning us over, lasting until the end and representing Muscle Shoals!
Angela: We've all seen one-hit wonders come and go. Those who have suffered that fate usually had any success at all not because of their artistry, but because of finding a song that connected. While we have expressed the importance of a great song time and again, it also takes a true artist to have staying power over the long haul.
Having carefully watched Angela during the competition I can say with confidence that because of her natural ability to truly connect with her audience and sing from the heart, she's here to stay.
David: I could tell David was fuming over Blake's approach with his wife. While it might have been harsh, I hope he listens to what Blake was saying. Having worked with artists whose spouses are a bit too involved in song choices and career decisions, I urge him to dig deep and represent his family with a decisive vision of his own career. Family members are, of course, biased, so their opinions might be off track.
David, and only David, can build a career strong enough to compete on a national level ... and he's got the gift of a strong and beautiful voice. Now the rest is up to him.
Joshua: While it's obvious that I agreed with America's decision, Joshua did slightly better than previous weeks, yet it still wasn't strong enough to deserve a record deal. He peaked during the first show, which was his best performance, and then it was a rollercoaster ride from then on.
One note I will give him is that the Rascal Flatts tune fit his voice best, so when writing I hope he considers this. I encourage him to nurture his strength – songwriting – and persevere. In the big picture, Nashville Star has already changed his life in many ways. I look forward to watching his progress and will always cheer him on whether he knows it or not.
Now it's that time to discover our next Nashville Star ... good luck Angela, Zac and David!