It has been a silent few months for both Brent Keith and Kristin McNamara. Both former Nashville Star contestants -Brent Keith during season two and McNamara from season four- saw Idol as a chance to make it through. While American Idol has kept Brent Keith's story pretty low-key since the first audition, the show has shown a lot of McNamara. During "Hollywood Week" McNamara was in a group with the emotional wreck Nathaniel Marshall (Who also sang for his slot in the Top 36 of the show) and the opinionated Nancy Wilson. During this time a very annoying girl named Tatiana Del Toro tried to join their group while McNamara rested her voice. I don't know why she was doing that during the night before performing for Simon and the gang. When McNamara and Marshall were put through, Wilson basically called Kristin a nasty four letter word for a female dog.
From There McNamara basically had to sing for her chance on the show. In the end she made the show and got advice from the judges: find yourself, clear up your image. I have to agree with them as she at least looked calm and collected on Nashville Star. It will be interesting to follow her and see if they steer her back to country or allow her to sing pop songs. Brent Keith will undoubtedly 'twang' everything he sings on the show and he has to be an early front-runner.
Other interesting names to watch out for on the show, from a country perspective are Ann Marie Boskovich, Who i've seen peform with songwriter James Slater ("In My Daughter's Eyes", John Michael Montgomery's current hit "Forever") at the Bluebird Cafe. While nobody, not even Vote For The Worst, considered her a 'plant,' she's most surely going to sing a few country songs on the show and, given her connections, do them well. Kendall Beard and oil rigging roughneck Michael Sarver a re two others who could be steered into the country genre. With these five, country fans and American Idol addicts should have some people to 'root' for.
On a side note, pop singer Joanna Pacitti (who released an album on Geffen Records in 2006 under the name Joanna) was cut from the competition due to her vast industry connections. Alas, the show admitted their 'plant' and kicked her off the show replacing her with young mom Felicia Barton.