You Say You Want a Redneck Revolution (Episode 4-2)

Shy Blakeman just wasn’t country enough, and he became this season’s first Nashville Star contestant to fall prey to viewer voting.

Guest performer Gretchen Wilson provided the theme for this season’s second episode, entitled “Redneck Revolution” in honor of her current tour. It’s an unfortunate name. The last time the ‘necks revolted, we called it the Civil War.

The theme lent itself to a night of caricaturing the traditional themes of country music. Instead of heartfelt lyrics or vibrant melodies, contestants sang about drinkin’, trucks, and fried chicken. Family values, straight from the heartland.

‘Neck night was also the only way to work comedian Larry the Cable Guy into the show to promote his new movie. His comments as a guest judge were nothing but bits from his act, although he did thank contestant Chris Young for lending him a razor.

As co-host Cowboy Troy announced the singers moving on to the next round, he didn’t specify whether he was announcing them in order of highest vote-getters, or if he was reading them randomly. But all of the real contenders went first, so this appears to be the current pecking order:

Matt Mason
Nicole Jamrose
Jared Ashley
Melanie Torres
Chris Young
Casey Rivers
Monique LeCompte
Kristen McNamara

Shy Blakeman was left off of the list, as his bare-footed, long-haired style failed to resonate with fans. Judges Phil Vassar and Anastasia Brown were disappointed, as they’d been looking forward to his performance. Anastasia caught part of his rehearsal and said he channelled Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Watch for Monique to follow Shy next week. After two performances, she hasn’t shown that she can rock. Her vocal style is more suited to “Singing in the Rain” than singing about beer.

Although Kristen was in the bottom two, her powerful performance of Reba McEntire’s song “Fancy” earned the respect of the judges. Anastasia’s words of advice were, “Don’t change who you are, just what you’re wearing.” Apparently, red tube tops aren’t in fashion anymore.

Next week, the contestants will be overshadowed by guest performer Kenny Rogers. I’m hoping to hear “Lady,” but I’ll be happy if he and Wynonna duet on “Islands in the Stream.” That is what we are, after all.