|Helena Hunt, star of Chasing Nashville|
Previously on Chasing Nashville, producer Keith Thomas invited the aspiring country stars to perform in a label showcase. This week on Chasing Nashville season 1, episode 7 titled "Under Pressure," each of the singers has an obstacle to overcome: for Autumn Blair it's nerves, for Savannah Little it's finances, for Lauren Marie Presley it's her stage mother, and for Helena Hunt, it's a major life decision; she has to decide if she really wants to be in the music business.
Savannah Little – The Spoiled Starlet
After watching the video she made in episode 6, Keith calls Savannah, age 15, at her home in Pikeville, Kentucky, and says, "I'm not sure we're on the same page regarding what I meant by finding one thing that sets you apart." Still, vocal coach Brett Manning (from episode 3) has been working with Savannah, and he likes her original song, so Keith keeps her in the running for a spot in his showcase and invites her to Nashville
Savannah is excited about the opportunity, but worries it will cause her parents to fight again (they've argued over the financial aspects of her career). Robyn (Savannah's mom) tells her it's fine, and that her father supports her goals. Savannah and fellow singer Tyra Madison Short devise a plan to do a car wash fundraiser for travel money to get to Nashville. Despite the fact that Savannah says, "I don’t really know the mastering of car washing, " and admits, "Don’t come to my car wash, it's not very good," the girls make enough cash to cover their expenses. Not bad for a "spoiled starlet."
Autumn Blair – The Coal Miner's Daughter
Autumn Blair, 18, left Tennessee and went home to Chloe, West Virginia to go to prom, but now she's back at Keith's Nashville studio and she's ready to work. He makes her promise she's 100% committed, telling her, "I want you to really focus, buckle down and deliver." Keith arranges for Autumn to perform with singer/songwriter Patrick Thomas at the Bluebird Café, but she's never done a duet before, so she's nervous. The song is called "Waiting for You," and the first time we hear it, it’s with Keith singing the female vocal - he has a fantastic voice.
Next, we see Autumn and Patrick rehearsing at Cornman Music. Autumn feels awkward singing and looking into his eyes, and she giggles through the session, but Patrick is all business and tells her, "I'm gonna level with you and be real, Keith brought me here for a reason, and we're going to get this. So forget about the shyness. Get over it. Get over it and let's do this." Later at The Bluebird Café, Autumn says, "My rehearsals with Patrick didn't go very well." The performance was good though – Keith's critique is that Autumn started off shaky, but that the duet really came together after the first chorus. He thinks if she does well at the showcase she could get a recording contract, but he wonders if she can handle the pressure.
Lauren Marie Presley – The Outsider
Lauren Marie, age 13, and her mom Lana are still in Tennessee after her gig at Nashville Palace. Her brother Brandon shows up – she doesn't see him much because he's in college and has a job and a girlfriend – because she's been texting him about how much she and Lana have been fighting. They talk about how forceful Lana is, and we learn she was pushy about Brandon's basketball playing too. They have a family meeting/intervention, and Lauren Marie tells her mom she wants her to tone down her aggressive momager-ing. Lana cries a little, but agrees to make things right with Keith.
Lana goes to Keith's studio to apologize. She admits, "I was a little too pushy maybe, and not the nicest about it. I really want Lauren Marie to be able to work with you, you're the best and I want her to become the best." Keith acknowledges that Lana's pushiness is an issue, but concedes, "there's something in her (Lauren Marie's) voice that I really believe in. She's 13, but by the time she's 16 she'll be a force to be reckoned with." He agrees to put Lauren Marie in the showcase so record execs will see her as someone to keep their eyes on. The main thing Keith wants is for Lana to let him run the show and keep her expectations real. She agrees with him in person, but in a voiceover we hear Lana say, "Just because one person doesn't think she's quite ready doesn't mean one of those guys won't."
Keith assigns Lauren Marie a Deanna Walker (we met her in episode 4) song to learn for the showcase, and she is thrilled to be back in his good graces, stating, "This could change my life."
Helena Hunt – The Plain Jane
Helena Hunt, 17, left Nashville and headed home to North Carolina to weigh her options; she's not sure if she wants to give up the life she has for the rigors of the music business. So, while she's getting ready to go to prom with Zeb Ross, she's still wondering what she should do. Gwen (Helena's mom) fixes her daughter's hair in a pretty up-do, then we see Helena in a sparkly salmon colored dress and long silver earrings – she looks beautiful. As Gwen sends Helena off to prom, she worries that if her daughter doesn't take the opportunity to do Keith's showcase it may never be an option again, and then Helena – and her – will always wonder "What if?"
Helena and her friends have an after-prom bonfire, and they play bluegrass on their banjos and guitars. Helena discusses Nashville, and says doing well at the showcase probably means more to the other girls because "I'm not obsessing over becoming famous," and says they are in "a competition to see who the Nashville producer likes the best… Music is a competitive business." Helena tells her friends she's not sure she's ready to move to Nashville – she says she doesn't want to leave her goats – and Zeb and his brother Levi muddy the water by telling her they wouldn't leave home. Then, Zeb and Helena go stargazing and look for constellations.
Helena, are you reading this? If you want to see a star, look in the mirror. Go to Nashville, work your butt off, make millions, and buy your goats a mountain. You may very well belong on a farm, but you belong at the CMAs too, and you CAN do both. Go for it.
What will Helena decide? We'll know soon, because on Chasing Nashville episode 8, it's the night of Keith's label showcase, and Helena is either late, or not showing up at all. Savannah sings her original and Keith says she has a lots of sass, but no believability, and Autumn may be losing her voice. We also see Keith telling Lauren Marie, "You're wasting everybody's time here" - hopefully it's an odd edit and he's not actually upset with her. We'll see.
Look for the Glamorosi Magazine recap of Chasing Nashville season 1, episode 8 between Wednesday, December 11 and Friday, December 13. For all of our Chasing Nashville recaps click here.
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Chasing Nashville is cancelled from Lifetime TV's regular broadcast schedule, but it's available on iTunes and VOD.
Photo by Richard McLaren, courtesy of Lifetime
Posted on Thursday,, December 5, 2013