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USA Network's 'Nashville Star' reveals its three fifth season finalists


By Christopher Rocchio, 02/23/2007 

Nashville Star eliminated Joshua Stevens during Thursday night's penultimate broadcast of the USA Network country music competition's fifth season, clearing the way for one of the reality show's three remaining finalists to be crowned its fifth season winner on next week's finale broadcast.

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Nashville Star 5's three finalists are Angela Hacker, a 29-year-old mother from Florence, AL, her brother Zac Hacker, a 23-year-old from Florence, AL, as well as David St. Romain, a 28-year-old from Baton Rouge, LA. 

All four of the show's remaining finalists performed during Thursday night's Nashville Star bnroadcast, however once they'd made their final attempt to win the votes of the show's home viewers, Nashville Star co-host Cowboy Troy revealed that since he had received the fewest votes during last week's voting, Stevens would be the one not making the finale cut.

"I'm just happy to be on the show as long as I was, and you know, I'm going to make a record and people are going to buy it... hopefully," Stevens, a 28-year-old Churchville, IA resident who is married with two kids but has been estranged from his mother for the last 18 years, told the audience after his elimination was announced.

"I want to say to you that my mother was with me all the time and it was hard enough for me to grow up," said judge Randy Owen after Stevens performed "Please Remember Me."  "The fact that you're standing on that stage tonight says a lot about you."

Fellow judge Blake Shelton said Stevens was probably the Nashville Star contestant he picked on the most this season, but added he finally found a reason why after Thursday night's performance.  "I think you're not as country as the music that I love, but you're still a great artist," said Shelton. 

Anastasia Brown, Nashville Star's third judge, had predicted Stevens' departure following his Thursday night performance.  "Throughout this competition, you've been consistently inconsistent and so I do not believe you should be a Nashville Star," said Brown.  "But I do believe you rocked the house tonight."

After Stevens' elimination was announced, Nashville Star host Jewel said the decision "broke her heart" because she has "a soft spot for him" and thinks he's "a great, fantastic singer."

Angela sang "Strawberry Wine" during the broadcast, a performance that impressed the judges.  Owen described Angela as the "most consistent" contestant and said it's "been awesome to see [her] actually get better."

"When I look at you, I see a little dandelion growing in the field, and a cool breeze blowing through and it's awesome," said Shelton.  "When you sing, I see cigarettes and beer and whisky and that's what I love about you."  Brown added she thinks "platinum records" and "tours" when she sees Angela perform, but was glad she wouldn't have to be the one to decide who Nashville Star 5's winner would be.  "I do have to say I feel sorry for America, because they're going to have to decide between you and your brother, and really, it is a toss up," said Brown.

Angela's brother Zac sang "Lady," a performance that left Brown "weak in the knees" and made Owen feel something "really, really special."

"I don't think anybody has ever accused you of not being able to sing, especially me," said Shelton.  "You're obviously a great singer.  There's something I want to say... and God help me for not finding a different way... you're a very sexy man."

St. Romain sang "Live Like You Were Dying," a performance that received mix blessings from the judges.  "You brought the full shoulder pads with you tonight," said Owen.  "You could actually play this game without a helmet... it was a great, great performance."  But Shelton commented, "I'm still not sure who he is as an artist."

"You really have proven yourself as a true contender and totally deserve to be on that spot on the stage," said Brown.  "I think your big competition so far is Zac."  St. Romain implored his fans to "just keep on voting."

"I think America's going to vote with its their heart, and I appreciate them getting me to this point," he said.  Zac said it's the viewers who have been casting their votes for him that "make [his] life happy right now."

"Before the show, I had forgotten about my dream to do this, and this show has made me realize it even more than I ever could," said Angela.  "And it's all because of everybody voting.  Please vote me your next Nashville Star."

The season finale of Nashville Star 5 will air on Thursday, March 1 at 10PM ET/PT, with the winner receiving a recording contract from Warner Music Group.

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