As Nashville Star 5 approaches its finale Thursday night–siblings Angela and Zac Hacker, plus David St. Romain, are the final three–the shows judges say the show needs a star to become credible.
“I think it’s disastrous that there hasn’t been a winner to go on to be a consistent star in Nashville. In order for the show to have credibility and for it to take another step, we need a Carrie Underwood to come out of it,” country music singer and show judge Blake Shelton tells the New York Times.
A first and second season judge whose label will distribute the winner’s record agrees. Warner Brothers Records’ Tracy Gershon says, “It’s absolutely crucial that the talent level comes up and that the show really breaks a big artist.”
To help that happen, the show has addressed the problem of “the short time between the final episode and the date, a few months later, that the record company working with the winner expects an album,” according to the New York Times. One solution: “[having] the contestants record a song each week of the show, a practice that its producers inaugurated this season.”
Gershon says, “Whoever the winner eventually is, I’ll have them record three more songs, and we’ll have a record that goes out immediately. It’ll be like a promotional record, something for them to share with their fans and tour behind. That way we can take our time to make the real record.”
Meanwhile, the paper notes that ratings this season prove that the audience “has gotten younger and more male, which [executive producer Jeff] Boggs said may be attributable in large measure to the presence of Jewel,” the show’s new host.