John and I had a blast as audience members of Nashville Star last night. The show was GREAT. (Made me miss working in TV!)
However, the effort to get into the show was a royal @#$!&*? pain. Nashville Star needs to work on their crowd logistics and communication.
We arrived at 7:15 to meet Randi. The next 90 minutes were total chaos. Randi had VIP tickets (supposedly no waiting) but he, (along with several other VIP ticket holders) did not know how to get the tickets. He spent the better part of an hour trying to get some answers with no luck.
Throughout the adventure, there was a man with a bull horn shouting instructions to the 1500+ people waiting in line. The crowd could not hear or understand anything he was saying. So, after a while, I couldn't take it anymore. I went up to the guy with the bull horn, told them who we were and he immediately had our group get together and wait next to the entrance.
In the meantime, my friend Laura walked through (she's friends with Anastasia - Nashville Star judge) and had extra VIP tickets. So, John and I used those extra tickets and went on in.
The rest of our group wasn't far behind and we all ended up sitting in the same area.
What a mess!
Once we were actually in, we had incredible seats (Row F seats 1 & 2 in the Bellsouth Theatre next to the Opryland Hotel) just a few seats to the left of Phil Vassar. We were in the thick of everything and loved it.
Montgomery Gentry performed a song written by Jeffrey Steele and Bob DiPiero, "Gone." Good stuff.
Then, the show proceeded. Throughout the night, John and I formed opinions of our favorites and what we thought of the judge's comments.
From a "whole package" perspective, I like Justin David and Tamika Tyler (Randi's friend). They seem to have some staying power. Jason Meadows was good, too. And, I like Jayron Weaver's voice (He sang "Broken Road" better than the lead Rascal Flatts guy... "flat" being the key descriptor of the group's lead singer) but he needs to work on his presence and performance.
Really though, overall, it was hard to pick. I can see why the judges have a hard time finding something bad to say! Phil Vassar's feedback was pretty benign. He loved everybody. I think Anastasia practiced what she was going to say using last week's show...cause a couple of the things she said made me think she wasn't watching the same show as we were watching. Bret Michaels actually had some pretty constructive feedback...when he wasn't commenting on the "hotness" of the female contestants.
This show is WAY more legitimate than American Idol in that the contestants seem to be real musicians and performers. They play instruments, write songs and are used to performing with a live band. While I enjoy watching American Idol, the show is a glorified kareoke compared to Nashville Star.
If you live in the Nashville area, I would definitely recommend getting tickets and suffering through standing in line to see the show. It was well worth the trouble.