What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that since this show is geared for the young country crowd, outfits are skimpy, songs are usually about relationships, and conversations with judges frequently begin with "Darlin', you look hot." The producers of the series still seem to be looking for their own unique place in the reality TV genre. The show's format and hosts seem to change each season, settling on something very similar to American Idol.
What's the story?
NASHVILLE STAR pits 10 country singing hopefuls against each other over the course of an eight-week competition, with the champion winning a record deal with RCA. Featuring live music from country superstars and a very participatory live audience, this series still hasn't garnered the same following as American Idol, despite the fact that producers have crafted a show very similar to its pop rival. Co-hosted by Wynonna Judd and Cowboy Troy. Regular judges include singer/songwriter Phil Vassar and industry player Anastasia Brown. The third seat is reserved for a rotating panel of guest judges, including Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Hank Williams, Jr., and comedian Larry the Cable Guy.
Is it any good?
One difference in Nashville Star's favor is that it shows very little of the audition process (which can get mean-spirited on American Idol), instead focusing on the music. Viewers will see the process of song selection and the contestants' practice, struggles, and triumphs that lead up to the weekly performance and elimination. Judd is an industry veteran who provides many comforting words of wisdom to contestants. Cowboy Troy is a refreshing change from the typical country western star, with his unique brand of cowboy rap.
Clearly, the judges know the business, but their tips and advice tend to be vague and repetitive. Nashville Star is potentially okay for kids genuinely interested in country-western music or in performing, but parents need to be prepared to see skimpy outfits and listen to comments about sex appeal. Perhaps a better means to learn about this music is to dust off a Johnny Cash album.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about the competitors' hard work, patience, and persistence. How do they make it look so easy, considering all the practice and physical, mental, and emotional challenges that go into each performance? Also, families can talk about all the attributes that make a good performance -- song, presence, personality. Would your kids ever want to try a competition like this? Why or why not?