'Nashville Star': Double trouble

Tommystanley_nashvillestar_240 To switch things up, and accelerate the show's timetable, tonight's episode of Nashville Star features the first double elimination show. Also, Shawn Mayer is my new hero.

Spoilers

In the first four minutes, it was between Melissa Lawson and Tommy Stanley and Tommy got sent home. While I understand why he may not have gotten the votes, I thought he had one of the best voices on the show. Jewel congratulated Tommy on remaining true to himself during the competition and not pandering (for the most part - last week was weird which delivers an important message for the kids: you don't have to listen to producers and/or directors - they don't always know what they're talking about).

1. Melissa Lawson
Song: "Danny's Song" by Loggins & Messina

It starts out a little low, she should've taken it up a half or whole step. But the rest of it was solid. Perhaps almost being kicked off might've affected her? Nerves and whatnot. I find it interesting that Jewel asked if she and her family are ready to work on an album and all the time it takes. Which is a valid question - she says they are and they've been planning for it.

2. Laura & Sophie
Song: "Walking After Midnight" by Patsy Cline

The clip shows that the pressure's been getting to the girls. They seemed to pull together enough for the performance, meaning it doesn't look like they hate each other. It's a mostly uptempo version of the song and the harmonies started off and ended all kinds of rocky. John Rich was overly harsh about it but Jewel agreed with his basic message that they're much too young, too unseasoned for the business right now.

Gabegarcia_nashvillestar_240 3. Gabe Garcia
Song: "Somebody Like You" by Keith Urban

To help himself feel more comfortable moving around on stage, he took some dance lessons. It helped a whole lot, though his voice wasn't as strong as last week as a whole. All the judges dug it and it's so very clear that he's the front runner.

4. Shawn Mayer
Song: "The First Cut is The Deepest" by Sheryl Crow

Since John is a crappy mentor, Shawn essentially fired him and jumped to Jeffrey Steele's team. I thought she sounded pretty good, probably she's still a little emotional. Jewel gives her credit for sticking up for herself and showing a lot of vocal restraint. John also gave her credit but still wasn't impressed. Whatever because Jeffrey was pleased enough with it and that's all that matters now. I could totally tell the difference though. She seemed way less...wound up than usual. Like, she could relax.

5. Coffey
Song: "Proud Mary"

It wasn't the Creedence Clearwater version nor was the Ike & Tina version, it was kind of a hybrid but not. I liked it enough. He jumped off the stage and ran around the audience, which was cool. He did a lot less vocal gymnastics this time but he's still not quite there. But he is one of the best at working the stage.

Instead of kicking the second contestant off, both will get to sing. That's a good change, give the person a chance to show off on last time.

Bottom Two
1. Ashlee Hewitt
Song: "Take the Money and Run" by the Steve Miller Band

Huh...it was nice to hear an uptempo song but I couldn't quite understand what she was singing, more so than usual. Not the best song choice, which is proof that John is a crap mentor as he's the one that suggested it. Jeffrey thought it wasn't her best performance and Jewel gave a fairly non-committal critique in that she sees that Ashlee has a lot of potential. John predicted that she'll be in the finals.

Pearlheart_nashvillestar_240 2. Pearl Heart
Song: "Ain't Going Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)" by Garth Brooks

They only had two little shaky moments in a very difficult song. It's absolutely their best performance and what I've expected from them at the beginning. The harmonies were there, the guitar playing was there...it's a shame they're in the bottom.

After much to-do and what seemed like 14 minutes of silence, it's time to find out who's being booted. And it's Pearl Heart. Crap. Jeffrey told them "we'll be talking," among other positive and complimentary things. He made it perfectly clear that he'll be helping them out in the future. Which will actually work out better for them, I think, rather than being under the show's contract.

I'd rather switch out Laura & Sophie and keep Pearl Heart and probably exchange Coffey for Tommy to stick around another week. What do you think about the eliminations? Should they even bother with anyone else and just skip to the Gabe/Melissa final? Why is John Rich being such a d-bag? Any other thoughts?