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Alyson Gilbert talks about her 'Nashville Star' sixth season journey


By Christopher Rocchio, 07/03/2008 

Alyson Gilbert is still unsure what she was lacking that caused her to be booted from Nashville Star.

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"I don't know that there's necessarily something specific I'm missing," she told reporters during a Tuesday conference call.  "To be quite honest I don't really know exactly what the specific thing is that they think I'm missing."

The 28-year-old from Crookstown, MN who currently resides in Jackson, TN was ousted from Nashville Star's sixth season based on home viewer votes cast immediately following the show's live June 23 episode.
"After I thought that I was in the bottom two, I just decided to just go with it -- go out and sing and try to take in the experience, enjoy the experience and not worry so much about anything else," she told reporters.  "Because no matter what I was either going to stay or go. And I just tried to just clear my mind of worry."

While Nashville Star judges John Rich and Jeffrey Steele were critical of Gilbert for being inconsistent, both professed faith that she does have the talent to shine on a regular basis.

"I believe that Jeffrey and John have always said they thought I was the entire package. I just needed to hone the craft a little bit," said Gilbert, pointing out it was mostly Nashville Star judge Jewel who was critical of her for missing something. 

In addition, Jewel suggested Gilbert do some soul-searching, a comment she found confusing.

"Jewel doesn't know that much about me personally. I think she's just basing it off what she's seen. I respect her opinion.  I think she's an amazing musician," Gilbert told reporters.  "But she doesn't know me, know me. And so I think that it's just one of those things, like 'Okay. I'll go do some soul-searching I guess.'  People like different things about people for different reasons. And she just didn't, you know, like me. And that's okay.  I think that probably we would get along just fine on a daily basis. I think we just -- as far as musically -- we don't quite connect."

Gilbert called Rich, Steele and Jewel a "a very diverse judging group" and added she felt "really honored" to receive their input -- something she claims she wasn't always so open about doing. 

She said it wasn't until Rich told her "if you're not tough enough to take my critique then you're not tough enough to get beat up and you're not tough enough for this industry."

"I thought, 'That is so true.' And I tried to keep that mentality every time a judge gave me a tough criticism," she told reporters.  "I just had to say okay and get knocked down and stand back up. [He's] just kind of brought that to the forefront of my brain, and I think that helped me out a lot."

Gilbert said she appreciates Rich's honesty as a judge.

"You never have to wonder if he's sugar coating it," she explained.  "A weakness might be that he sometimes comes across as maybe arrogant, which I don't think he is. But I know I've had people say that to me."

Despite almost always wearing a smile on her face during the competition, Gilbert assured reporters ""it's a very high pressure experience." 

"You're out of your comfort zone. You're away from your intimate support system like your family and your friends. You kind of have to go internally in yourself to find the strength to keep going," she said.  "I think that you don't always have to do that in your everyday life because there's people there to kind of encourage you and tell you - you did great."

"It was tough. But it was an experience that I feel very fortunate to have been able to have. I think it did make me a stronger person within myself for sure."

Now that she feels stronger from the experience, Gilbert said she'll continue to work towards her degree in veterinarian science at the University of Tennessee in Martin

"It was something that I wanted to finish my degree in.  I thought if I didn't do it soon I was afraid I would run the risk of never going back. And animals are something that I love, so I wanted to get my undergrad in that," she said. "I will finish it one way or the other whether it's online or going back on a full-time basis."

Gilbert said she's hoping to use her Nashville Star exposure to further her other love -- singing.

"Music is really in the forefront of my mind and what I love and what I want to do," she said. "I'm going to continue to pursue that heavily - especially now.

(Photo credit NBC)


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