|Helena Hunt from Chasing Nashville on Lifetime|
The Lifetime Network’s new docu-series, Chasing Nashville, takes a fascinating approach to the usual televised talent contest concept. Rather than toss dozens of young innocents to the lions, or laughingly present the silliest of off-key singers along with its serious vocalists, Chasing Nashville focuses on four teenaged girls dedicated to making a name in country music. The biggest surprise of Chasing Nashville is that it’s a reality show with heart, one that tells the story of competitive spirit without flash.
Chasing Nashville focuses on four teenage girls from the Appalachian region (Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn country) with four distinct personality types: Savannah Little, 14, "The Spoiled Starlet" braggart with a low expressive voice; Autumn Blair, 17, a literal "Coal Miner’s Daughter" with a booming country voice; Helena Hunt, 17, the "Plain Jane" of the bunch whose glasses and drab clothing hide a sweet voice and skills as a multi-instrumentalist; and , Lauren Marie Presley, 13, "The Outsider," a Texan who moves to Kentucky to compete. Oh, and there’s Lauren Marie’s last name, one that her pushy stage-monster invokes every chance that she gets.
Their goal of Chasing Nashville is to impress Grammy winning producer and songwriter Keith Thomas (Whitney Houston, Dixie Chicks), who has arrived in Kentucky to judge the Hillbilly Days’ festival singing contest, the American Idol of the Appalachian mountains. We learn the back-story and rehearsal process for the performers, and how they deal with their sometimes catty stage mothers. Throughout this episode, we see the teen's in their home settings: Savannah is encouraged to be diva; Autumn is a tomboy; Helena loves singing to her lambs, Lauren Marie doesn’t dig her mother pushing the unconfirmed connection to Elvis Presley. How does this mom get away with this without angering Elvis' estate?
Personality goes a long way during the Hillbilly Days contest (just as it does during The Voice or The X-Factor) so you never know who could get a shot. The fact that these young women actually have talent held my curiosity to tune in and see what happens next.
To see all of our Chasing Nashville articles click here.
Chasing Nashville airs Tuesdays 10/9c on Lifetime beginning October 22
Photo by Karolina Wojtasik, courtesy of Lifetime
Posted on Tuesday, October 22, 2013