It's episode five, and we're down to a streamlined hour. We also get previews, and are promised some interpersonal conflicts and potential breakdowns and tears in the beer and the like. Nashville Star hasn't cut all the fat, however, as Billy Ray Cyrus remains in the role of host. Although his foil highlights budget remains intact, we might imagine that there have been cuts in wardrobe, as he appears to be wearing a blazer fashioned out of old Hefty bags. It's a look that suits him.
Oh, and then it's time to eliminate someone right off the bat, just like we were promised! Billy Ray calls Melissa first, followed by Tommy. One of these, he tells us, was the top vote getter and will perform first. The other got the lowest amount of votes, and will be eliminated. And, I mean, duh. Tommy gets the military issue boot. Tommy held promise early on, but then kind of started sucking. Billy Ray asks him to reflect upon his experience, and Tommy says that he's made a statement not just for himself, but for the Navy and the military. And the statement is this: "If you've got a dream, and you dream of it every single day, and you wanna be that, then you can do it. It's not far away." For the Reverend Martin Luther King: sing. Apparently Tommy's dream was to get back on a boat in Japan, huh? Jewel's heart is breaking, and she commends Tommy for being himself and not pandering. She's proud of him. Billy Ray takes this opportunity to remind us that he wrote that horrible song called "Some Gave All." In contrast, Billy Ray gives the least acceptable amount possible to scrape by. Seriously, can he not memorize ONE LINE? It's really aggrieving me how he can't look anyone in the face when he says something to him because he's so glued to the teleprompter.
But let's forget poor Tommy and dastardly Billy Ray, because it's time for Melissa to sing! In her mentoring video, John Rich says that Melissa has the capacity to be a world-class artist. In part, apparently, because she's getting skinnier. I think John Rich wants to bone her. Melissa then sings "Danny's Song." This brings back so many memories of watching Anne Murray infomercials. Her performance is good and has a few really nice moments, but it's not a knockout like the last couple of weeks. She goes super-sharp at the last moment but the crowd is already clapping so I'm not sure if anyone heard. Jewel notes that the song started a little too low, but the crowd responded when Melissa stepped it up. She then asks if Melissa, with her rather large family, is really ready for the demands of making a record. Melissa says they are, and in fact have been waiting and planning for 19 years. Jeffrey loves Melissa. John Rich notes that she maybe got a little nervy, but he agrees with Jeff that Melissa is, if not the best, at the top of the heap. He has big hopes for her. Any hopes that we had for Billy Ray not being a huge douche are erased as he tells a story of how one of Melissa's sons reached out to him as he was signing autographs, then asked where Hannah Montana was. He spins a fascinating yarn, doesn't he?