|Autumn Blair, stepmom Pam and dad J from Chasing Nashville|
On season 1, episode 5 of Chasing Nashville titled "No Place Like Home," the aspiring country singers adjust their strategies after hearing producer Keith Thomas' critiques of last week's open mic performances. Some stay in Nashville, but a few head home, including Autumn who temporarily leaves to go to prom. In the week between Chasing Nashville episodes 4 and 5, the show disappeared from Lifetime TV's lineup. Viewers took to social media to ask, "What happened to Chasing Nashville?, " and got the answer when cast members Tweeted that the show was cancelled, and also encouraged fans to contact Lifetime and Tweet the hashtag #SaveChasingNashville. For now, we'll continue to recap Chasing Nashville as the episodes become available.
Autumn Blair – The Coal Miner's Daughter
Autumn Blair 18, (Happy Birthday, Autumn!) is in the studio with Keith Thomas recording a slightly slowed down version of her original song, "Hear Me Now." When the session is through, Autumn tells Keith that instead of staying in Nashville, she's heading home to go to prom. Keith sees this as Autumn not being able to handle the pressure of a career, "because when you're signed to a label, there are no breaks, it's a full-time gig." She tells him she'll be back in a few days, and she'll be working twice as hard.
Once she's back in Chloe, West Virginia, Autumn is nervous that she may have blown her chances for a record deal, but she's also excited to go to prom. She wears a black and purple leopard print strapless gown, and giggles when her full, ruffled skirt knocks things off tables as she navigates the living room. She looks gorgeous. As Autumn and her boyfriend Matt are leaving, her Dad J makes a special presentation: he gives them the keys to his sporty white Challenger, a car he loves so much he rarely drives it himself. It's hilarious to see Autumn in the front seat – her dress is so poofy it almost touches the ceiling. J instructs Matt to drive under 50 mph, and tells him, "Not a minute past midnight. You have two of my babies - that means I get to kill you twice."
Unfortunately, they arrive home a half hour late, and J is not happy. The next morning, J and Matt head out into the woods to hunt turkeys, but really it’s so J can put the "fear of God" into Matt. J tells Matt that instead of the "birds and the bees talk", he's going to have the "flies and the vultures" talk, as in what's going to be flying around his body if he brings Autumn home late again. Back at the house, Autumn's Memaw reminds her that she can't be a big star in Nashville with baby on her hip, and cautions her, "Just don't lose your head kid." As her Memaw cries, Autumn realizes being a star isn't just her dream, it's her family's dream too.
Lauren Marie Presley – The Outsider
Meanwhile, the duo that Keith declined to work with (for now), Lauren Marie Presley, 13, and her mom Lana, are staying in Nashville, because Lana is determined to find a producer for her talented daughter. First though, Lana and Lauren Marie go thrift shopping with Julia Knight and her mom Gina at a shop called Local Honey. While they go through the racks of vintage clothing, Lauren Marie tells Julia that Lana was rude to Keith, and says, "My mom ruined this whole experience for me." She also knows her mom is just trying to make her be the best she can be.
Lana sets Lauren Marie up with a producer she finds in the phone book, and tells her daughter to make sure she tells him she's a Presley. Lauren Marie says, "She needs to understand being pushy is not the key," but Lana sees it differently: "I was brought up where you go after what you want and don't let no one or nothing stop you."
They arrive at Dog Ear Studio and meet with producer/owner Jamie LaRitz, a musician and producer who has worked with Bret Michaels and Black Oak Arkansas. It's a much smaller home studio compared to Keith's mansion and pro studio, and a few minutes in, Lauren Marie says, "I don't sense that Jamie's the guy who's going to get me in front of a record label." Lauren Marie sings a bit, and Jamie compliments her great low register (I agree, I love her voice), but when she sings flat on a high note, she says, "I didn’t even hit that note, and he didn’t notice. Is he even listening? I feel like Jamie is just telling my mom what she wants to hear, and she's believing it. I don’t want to work with a producer like that, I want to work with Keith because I believe he can make me better."
Savannah Little – The Spoiled Starlet
Savannah, 15, and her mom Robyn meet with Keith to go over his thoughts on her performance at the open mic. He liked her energy, but he's not seeing anything unique about what she's doing, and he tells her, "I can go to any high school and find ten girls who are doing exactly what you're doing." Robyn tells the camera it's hard to hold back tears because Savannah has "worked hard… you know, I've pushed her so much to get here," and she asks Keith "what do I need to do to give her the tools that she needs?" Keith suggests a vocal coach, tells Savannah her to do her homework, and assures her that she's still in the game. Savannah vows to prove to Keith that she's not like everybody else.
Savannah and her mom go home to Pikeville, Kentucky, and Robyn informs her husband Michael that she's paying vocal coach Brett Manning to come from Nashville to work with Savannah. Since they've fought about this before, Michael is frustrated and says, "We just can't keep throwing money down the drain."
Meanwhile, Savannah sits at the electric piano and works on her original song – Deanna Walker said she should treat it like it's a letter to her parents. When her mom says it’s time to go meet with Brett, Savannah is hesitant since her dad seemed so angry about it, but her mom tells her it's okay, and they meet up at the Jenny Wiley Theater for her lesson. As Savannah sings, her parents understand the lyrics she wrote are about how they fight. Afterwards, they all hug.
Helena Hunt – The Plain Jane
Helena Hunt, 17, and her mom Gwen are staying in Nashville for a few more days, then they'll be heading home to North Carolina because Helena has a gig at a local brewery. Over cones at Mike's Ice Cream, they discuss Keith's feedback from last night's open mic. Keith wants Helena to write more emotional songs, but she prefers to keep her feelings to herself. Gwen touches on the fact that Helena has struggled having to go back-and-forth between her divorced parents, and tells her Keith wants her to work with songwriter Deanna Walker to tap into those emotions.
Helena gets together with Deanna, who asks if she has any songwriting experience. Helena responds that she thinks the songs she's tried to write are "kinda dumb, like rhyming trees with bees." Like she did with Savannah in last week's episode, Deanna questions Helena about her background so she can find an emotional starting point for a new song. Helena admits how hard it is to divide her time between her parents, that her dad drinks sometimes, and that she hasn't been honest with either parent about how their problems affect her. She cries for just a minute as she tells Deanna all this, and then she says, "So where do we start?"
Helena heads home for her gig, but first stops in Hendersonville, North Carolina to visit her Dad – his name is Robert – and her Gran Gran. Helena says her dad has been a big influence on her music, and this is evident when they sit down to play together. He sings a song he wrote for her – "Here Comes my Sunshine" – and he's good. They have a nice time, but Deanna wanted Helena to play the song about her dad for him, and she can't bring herself to do it.
Back in Clyde, North Carolina, Helena goes to her gig, and she does a great job singing her original song in public for the first time. Her family is there to support her, and they all get teary-eyed when they hear the lyrics.
On the next episode of Chasing Nashville season 1, episode 6, titled "Fight of Flight," Keith prepares the girls to sing for record execs, Lauren Marie and her mom Lana hand out fliers for her gig at Nashville Palace, and it looks like Robyn has an argument with Angel, singer Celeste Turner's mom.
For the Glamorosi Magazine recap of Chasing Nashville S1 E6 "Fight or Flight", click here.
For all of our Chasing Nashville recaps click here.
Photo by Richard McLaren, courtesy of Lifetime
Posted on Saturday, November 23, 2013