Hey, everyone! Or, hey tens of people who are reading this. Seriously, introduce a buddy to the joy of reading Nashville Star recaps! Your conscience will thank you.
There are skanks in denim cutoffs bopping around on stage. This of course means that it's...pop goes country week! As opposed to the other weeks, when people were singing "Bubbly," and "Drops of Jupiter," and freaking John Mayer songs. Announcer Katie Cook introduces host Billy Ray Cyrus, who is very glad we're here. One thing you can say about Billy Ray Cyrus is that he is apparently literate. You can tell by the way he squints at the teleprompter.
This week, they appear getting the elimination over with at the top of the show. Billy tells the following people to step forward: Tommy and Gabe. One is one of last week's top vote getters, while the other faces elimination. And the person up for elimination is Tommy. Oh, wait, they're still going to torture him through the entire show. But first they're going to torture US as the final ten sing "Like a Prayer." Life is a mystery, indeed. Melissa starts off singing lead, and then some serious off-key harmony caterwauling begins. Tommy gets a solo and it's pretty terrible, Alyson sounds pretty good, Gabe Garcia was not meant to sing Madonna, Laura & Sophie are freaking horrible, and then -- I shit you not -- there is a gospel choir. Coffey and Ashley continue the pattern of being terrible. Oh, God, and then Justin the male model. I don't even have to tell you how that goes. Pearl Heart is pretty decent, and then Shawn Mayer does her impression of Cher singing "Like a Prayer." I always thought the group numbers on Idol were the worst. Now I know better.
We get some clips of John Rich berating the contestants after last week's show. Everyone talks about how hard it will be to sing pop songs. Oh, I'm so sure. John Rich tells them that they'll have to do it, or go down in a ball of fire. It is apparently "Take Your Nashville Star Mentees to Work" day, because John Rich is going to take the lady singers to his bar, "The Spot," Jeffrey Steele is taking the groups to his recording studio, and Jewel is bringing the guys to her appearance on The Tonight Show. All of the mentors talk up the "pop goes country" theme. What could possibly happen when these two vastly different worlds collide? Will LeAnn Rimes and Faith Hill suddenly be named co-rulers of the globe?
Gabe Garcia gets to sing first. And what is he singing, you may ask? "La Vida Loca." If he can shake his booty like Ricky Martin, he might stand a chance. In the mentoring video, Jewel says that Gabe can display more charisma if he tells a story with the lyrics. Yeah, like he can look all creepy when he talks about being into superstition, and slightly stunned when he talks about lips being devil rays. Gabe starts, and though I was a little skeptical at first, he really wins me over. Or maybe I am so entranced by the skank dancers that I would like anything at this point. But no, the judges love him, so he must have been good! They still push him to loosen up a bit, but think he pulled off the performance in a big way.