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Nashville Star: An Assessment

Nashville Star was so much better when it was on CMT and hosted by the glorious Wynonna Judd and those belt buckles the size of Cowboy Troy's face. Cowboy Troy was there too, but he was just an ornament. It was all about the belt buckle.

Now, it's hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, who is about as exciting to watch as a catatonic jellyfish.

Jewel is a judge, and so are Big and Rich, which means that you have whiney-chick songs and Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy behind the same table. They are almost entirely incompatible.

What kind of judgment spews forth from these polar opposites? Mindless ass-kissing of the contestants who are infinitely less talented than the ones I remember. Except that every now and again, Jewel turns into a hell-spitting demon who could melt a fetus with her eyes. Also, every couple of episodes Jewel morphs into an elementary school music teacher and tries to teach people the meaning of staccato.

Granted, I have high expectations. Faith and I stumbled into the show back in season 4 when it was just the final 5 and they were all ridiculously talented. This year it's a bunch of tone-deaf pretty-people. Imagine models doing karyoke with a guitar. It's that good. You wish they wouldn't open their mouths, but then you realize that this is probably the only opportunity for some renegade to run up there and shove a sandwich in.

And this year there are groups. Groups with purple emo haircuts and they sing covers of "Hey There Delilah" which is the antithesis of a country song. Groups consisting of two teenage girls who are still in high school, wearing braces, and are incapable of clapping with the beat. These are people who repeatedly, week after week, mouth "Hi, Mom!" into a camera feeding live onto NBC of all places. It's revolting.

The only interesting contestant is Melissa, who could be the next Wynonna. Girl's got pipes and killer stage presence. Unfortunately, I think America will eliminate her because she's not a size zero and because this show has lost its goddamn mind.

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