Jewels Hanson, Kristen McNamara, Casey Rivers
© Jan Duke
It seems like just yesterday that Chris Young was crowned the latest Nashville Star winner. Believe it or not this year's Nashville Star Season Five Audition at the Wildhorse Saloon is done and over for the upcoming season.
Nashville got it's chance to shine and impress the judges on October 12th with only the best musicians getting called back on October 13th for the Nashville Star Season 5 Final Auditions to go another round with the judges. Folks from all over the country made their way to The Wildhorse Saloon with some were even standing in line at noon the day before the actual auditions in hopes of becoming the next Nashville Star contestant.
Former Nashville Star Contestants; Jason Meadows, Casey Rivers, Jewels Hanson, Jared Ashley and Kristen McNamera sat in as judges during the first day of the auditions.
In my estimation, more than 1000 hopefuls auditioned, although local entertainment journalist Brad Schmitt reported that there were over 5000. Also reported on local news was a comment from one of the judges saying they were disappointed in the lack of talent that auditioning in Nashville. Now folks, either way and good or bad, that's a lot of country music melodies and singing.
Out of all of those who auditioned, only 23 lucky people were asked to return for day two callbacks, which would allow them to perform 2 additional songs for the judges. They could do two cover songs, or a cover and an original.Quite a few opted for the original songs and, from what I heard, I don't think Anastasia Brown will be telling any of them their songs are Ba-Ba-Ba-Boring like she told Casey Rivers in Nashville Star's fourth season.Hopefuls sang their hearts out and gave their best performances for the judges, but if I had to make a guess I would say no more than about 4 of the performers should expect a call for the regional competition.
Wesley Butler started things off but he was flat through most of this songs. Michael Lee Hunt from Hendersonville's original song told the story of him growing up "Between Jim Beam and John 3:16". There were a few hopefuls who were studying music in college and even one who is going through a masters program in psychiatry.
I also seemed to see a pattern forming as we noticed that several auditioners who had auditioned in other cities and had not made callbacks to their second day were making Nashville's second day callbacks. Some of these hopefuls included;
Amber Velotto made it to call backs in Nashville but wasn't so lucky when she auditioned in Chicago.
Jeff Otwell whose original song was about his messy wife also didn't make it to call backs when he auditioned in Atlanta but did in Nashville.
There were also some real characters that offered their own unique style and histories, including:
Josh Martin, I believe is 24 years old, who lives in a small town where he's the Chief of Police.
Tim LaRoche had his little daughter on stage with him, had on his Carhart overalls and John Deer ball cap and his hair in a ponytail yesterday for his audition. He explained to everyone that he's Mr. Mom while his wife makes her living as a barber. He even played a Colgate Country Showdown with Chris Young.
Some seemed to stick their foots in their mouths during the interview process, one performer broke a guitar string her first song, and yes there was even a girl who works at Hooters.
There is even a contestant who made it through the Nashville Star Regionals a few years back.
Once again this year there were a few past beauty pageant contestants. You might have even heard of one of them. Ericka Dunlap who was Miss America 2003. She has since left the pageant world and still wants to be a country singer more than anything.