Justin Gaston becomes the third finalist cut from 'Nashville Star'
By Steve Rogers, 06/24/2008
Justin Gaston was revealed to be the third finalist eliminated from Nashville Star's sixth season during last night's live broadcast of the NBC reality series.
"I'm glad for the experience and had a great time, thank you everybody, thanks for the votes," Justin said after his elimination was revealed.
Justin, a 19-year-old from Pineville, LA who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, was ousted from Nashville Star's sixth season based on home viewer votes cast immediately following last Monday night's performance episode. Justin had performed the Plain White T's "Hey There Delilah" during the broadcast.
Although the judges felt the performance had marked an improvement from Justin's premiere broadcast performance, they had still remained unimpressed.
"It's what you do to me [but] I don't know if it's gotten to me yet," Nashville Star judge Jeffrey Steele had joked after the song. "Your performance definitely stepped up from last week, but I'm not sure it's what you do to me yet... that was your best performance to date but I'm just not sure yet."
"You come off very, very, very sweet... not in a good way." fellow judge John Rich told Justin. "That was terrible."
"He's not very good," Rich added after Jewel -- the Nashville Star judge that had been doubling as Justin's mentor -- began attempting to defend Justin's "sweet quality."
"I personally don't think you need to be something that you're not," Jewel said. "I've seen you interact with everybody -- you guys know -- he's sweet, he opens everyone's doors. I think you can be who you are. It's not that you can't sing, it's that you have to get better control of your singing. I think you're going to be fine with more time."
"I think you shouldn't be on the show -- I think you snuck in through the back door," Rich added, causing the audience to boo loudly.
Tommy Stanley, a 23-year-old from Cushing, OK who currently resides on the USS Kitty Hawk, was the other member of last night's bottom two vote-getters. Both singers gave one final performance before the results of last week's audience vote was revealed.
In keeping with last night's "pop goes country" theme, Justin performed Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun."
"I got to commend you -- I got to commend Jewel actually -- that's the best I've heard you do by far, and you actually sounded country," Rich remarked after the performance. "I hope it's not too late... America's [already] voted and it might be too little too late but I definitely saw improvement this week."
"You did a great job," Steele added.
"Most improved, I am really, really proud," said Jewel. "I can tell you worked really, really hard, I hope it's not too late."
Tommy performed a ballad version of "Maniac," the Michael Sembello song featured in Flashdance.
The judges panned it as not country enough, however since the elimination was based on the previous week's home audience vote, Justin was still the one sent home.
"That was 'pop goes pop,' not 'pop goes country,'" Rich remarked.