Hello, friends! I am happy to report that I survived a) dirty hippies; b) four days of port-a-potties; and c) a monsoon at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. I swear to God I have never been so happy to see a real toilet in my life. Yay for being indoors! I never want to go outside again!
The bad thing about seeing all that good music, however, is that it's going to make the experience of watching Nashville Star even worse. Oh, and Lord, we're going to get TWO performances from each finalist. Happy day. Maybe they could give Cof-FAY four songs, just to make things more unbearable. Katie Cook introduces Billy Ray Cyrus, who is sporting a pornstache this week in addition to his soul patch. I think he's wearing a dangling carrot earring, too. He looks a bit out of sorts, probably because he's been going in circles chasing his ear all afternoon. This week, each contestant went to his or her hometown to give a performance sponsored by State Farm. The concerts raised money for dropout prevention. I think all that money should by default go to Laura & Sophie.
Shawn is first up, and heads back to her hometown of May City, Iowa, population 45. She sees a sign that has been put up, stating that May City Iowa is the home of Shawn Mayer. She's overwhelmed by all of the people who are behind her. 45, to be exact. Shawn goes to a local mall, where a lot of folks are cheering for her. She tells us that she doesn't think she's anything special, but is happy that she's made people proud. She leads a pack of Hell's Angels to her concert, and finds 6,000 people in the audience. Is the town even big enough to fit that many people? Going home has given Shawn a boost, and she's ready to fight to the finish. For her first song, she sings "I'm Here for the Party" by Gretchen Wilson. Overall she sounds great, even though she still has that weird-ass enunciation.
John Rich is impressed. He says she's improved so much over the past several weeks that she made "I'm Here for the Party" sound like a Shawn Mayer song. Jewel, who has a new haircut that makes her look simultaneously like Shirley Temple and Betty White, agrees that Shawn has come into her own and become more confident. She adds that with great fame comes great responsibility, which is something Shawn needs to think about. What the eff is she even talking about? This prompted me to look up Jewel's charity work, and I discovered that she and her mom started a non-profit foundation called Higher Ground for Humanity. And what is that non-profit's mission statement, you may ask? "The organization strives to promote human excellence by pioneering what it means to be a human being in the highest sense, inspiring new possibilities for humanity." You got that? Are you bursting with new possibilities for humanity right now? Me, too. Or maybe it's the residual port-a-potty fumes. Jeffrey notes that Shawn is fighting through some wisdom tooth issues tonight, and he digs the fact that she's being a pro and working through the pain. I work through the pain when I recap this show every week. Why do I get no props from Jeffrey Steele?