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Who has the talent to make it in the world of country music? Find out as the nation selects the next Nashville Star!

Is your favorite still in the running? Check out our Nashville Star Stage!

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:

Host: Leann Rimes
Judges: Anastasia Brown, Bret Michaels, Phil Vassar
Creator/EP: Ben Silverman
Packager: Hoosick Falls Productions, PictureVision, Reveille Productions for USA Network
Airs: Tuesdays at 10pm ET on USA


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"Round of 7" - March 23

You gotta love the special guest for the first act, because that gets people to come in and watch the show - and that also gets recappers like me to not miss anything when a show causes you to miss the first minute of the next show you have to recap. In this case, the star was Sarah Evans as she sang for the 8 remaining contestants. By the time this is over, we'll have seven left to sing to.

We get the intro of the singer and the judges, and then we get Leann talking to Justin (the person who did the not-so-bright move of talking about not playing with his A-game). He says that he hopes that Cletus is out there with the mop and bucket (heh), because he may need it. The person who may need it is...

Contestant 1 - Jayron Weaver! He says that he's just a guy who goes to college as he sings 'Who Wouldn't Want to Be Me?' Who wouldn't indeed, as that's his best effort so far. Jayron says that he needs a churchgoer with brown hair to be his perfect woman, and Leann cuts him off before he gets him into trouble. Anastasia was wondering if he picks a song that he can wail on (and she gets booed), Phil says that he set the bar high (and he gets cheers) and Bret wants to see him on original night. I think he'll get there.

Joining him to next week's show is... Erika Jo! That's well-deserved, as she's been bringing it every week. She says that she may be less experienced, but she says that she is competing just as hard as they are. She changes gears with a slower paced song called 'You Don't Even Know Who I Am' this week, and although she is a little pitchy, I like her diversity. Both Bret and Phil say that age is not going to be a factor when it comes to her, and Anastasia loves her look - but she wants to feel it (and she gets more boos).

We get a needless segment with Cletus and Tamika, who says that she works good under pressure, and she adds that she has confidence. Erika Jo is also told that she blew out 4 windows in the next door hotel. She was also asked if the age thing is causing tension. She says that it's been resolved and everyone can move on. We'll see if that becomes an issue later...

Next up is...Jenny Farrell! But she's not singing, she's talking about a strep throat scare. Yipes. Singing will be...Tamika Tyler! She talks about the emotional week that she has had, as she called a group meeting, and it seems like she is trying to be the peacemaker between the warring factions. She sings 'Let's Give Them Something To Talk About' - and she is also pitchy, and not bringing the energy of Erika. She brings the energy later on - but not the pitch and this is her first blunder of the competition. Anastasia says that it's her competition to lose...BUT she has to improve her image. Phil likes her as does Bret, and I don't think her pitch problems will hurt her tonight.

Cletus tells us all to go to gaylordopryland.com to look at a Nashville Star vacation package. Ooooh. Leann asks Jason about his boy seeing daddy on TV - and he says that the little one is excited. Will the kid by happy now? No, but the family of...

JENNY FARRELL is! She wants to get to the original song competition, which she thinks is her strong point. She also hopes that 'Maybe It Was Memphis' gives her a strong point. She sort of loses it at the end, but she was very solid throughout the song and we may have a new contender. Leann asks if she is single - and she is, and we expect her to gets lots of e-mail. Phil liked the song and so did Anastasia, who says that she selected a song that's good for her and she wants to hear her original material. Bret says that she feels much more comfortable onstage and maybe the Jack Daniels advice helped (heh.).

NOW Jason Meadows's kid can be happy, because Jason is next! He talks about almost having to choose between his music and his wife - and he says that it's tough being faithful, but mandatory. He sings 'Behind Closed Doors', and while it's not wonderful, and it's also a change of pace from what he does. He was solid, though and I think that although he was a little pitchy as well, this makes him the guy to beat. He thanks his wife and the judges. Phil and Bret think that's it's a hard song to sing, but they thought he brought it. Anastasia says that he didn't, and that gets her a shower of boos.

We go back to Cletus and he has Jody. They all say that it's a thrill to be here. Jason says that he was one of the people caught with the throat bug, but he said that he tried as hard as he could.

Leann asks Casey about the harshness of the judges, and she says that she hopes that she can sing tonight and show the judges what they learned. The next person to show the judges what they learned is... Jody Evans! He is shocked at how Nashville Star has united the family. He sings 'There Goes My Heart'...and there goes his pitch and tone. He is clearly singing affected, and it drives me nuts. I'm still waiting for him to sound like something different than a cross between Elvis Costello and David Byrne. He shows off his beat box talent as well, and Leann tells him to stay with Rockabilly. Bret and Phil like what he does, while Anastasia likes his star power - but wants to see something different - John Denver, perhaps. It seems like he is a one trick pony, but Matt Lindahl drove his comedy shtick to the Top 3 last season, so you never know...

We're down to two - the arguably worst performance last week in the form of Casey, and the arguably biggest attitude problem in the form of Justin. The person who is leaving is... Casey. She said that she probably shouldn't have sang the song that she did, and she knows that she has the future ahead of her.

Justin says that he is not the arrogant person that he is made out to be. He said that he means that he can do better and he means to. He sings 'Highway 40 Blues' and although he sounds pretty good, it still sounds arrogant. He says that he made his peace and he will be giving his all. Anastasia says that she nailed it and the judges think that he was great. I agree - but his attitude still reeks, as what he said just made him look even more arrogant.

With that, we end the show with the synopsis and we are out. Wit that, here are my rankings:

Jason
Erika
Jenny
Tamika
Jayron
Jody
Justin

I'll blame this week on the strep bug. The only problem is that egotism and defiance can't be cured with antibiotics - only with a swift boot. Justin had a shot to redeem himself - but he came off looking worse and even though he was probably the best performer, he could still be leaving.

Will Justin be redeemed? Will Jody's Pony leave the ranch? Join us to get the answers to these questions.

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