On this week’s Chasing Nashville, it’s time for the ladies to start making their way to Nashville to work with Keith Thomas. He says that less than one half of one percent of hopeful singers are ever offered a recording contact and he’s hoping one of the girls is among the lucky few.
Back in Pikeville, it’s time for Savannah’s birthday party, but her parents are arguing over Robyn taking Savannah to Nashville. When the Presleys show up at the party, Robyn tells her dismayed daughter she invited them because they’re new in town. While poor Lauren Marie sits in a corner and fiddles with her phone Lana talks over the troubles with the other mothers. She says the issues stem from Celeste putting her hand in Lauren Marie’s face and saying “I don’t know you.” Celeste’s big-haired mother protests that that doesn’t sound like her girl at all.
Savannah gets a guitar as a gift, though she doesn’t know how to play. Someone hollers for her to sing, so she does her favorite, “Stars,” again. Lauren says there is nothing special about her voice.
Lauren and Lana leave the party and head for Julia’s house. Julia tells Lauren to take the tough experience at the party and turn it into a song. Meanwhile, Lana asks Julia’s mom, Gina, if the girls could so some songwriting together over the weekend and Gina says that won’t work because they’re heading off to Nashville to see Keith. Lana tells the camera that it’s hard for her to be happy for Julia, when Lauren Marie is getting left behind. Then she invites herself along with Gina and Julia. Gina is hesitant, but the girls come rushing into the room with the same idea and Gina reluctantly gives in.
In North Carolina, Helena’s mom Gwen is talking to her pal Margie about Keith wanting her simple girl to have a makeover. Helena appears and says she’s fine just the way she is.
In Nashville, Autumn, her dad and stepmom arrive at Keith’s studio. Keith asks Autumn what she’s been doing since Hillbilly Days and Autumn says writing. Keith’s happy about that and asks her to sing something. She sings the song she wrote about her mom in a key that sounds weirdly unnatural from when she sang it back home. Keith says she could use a vocal coach and J. protests that they don’t want to change her uniqueness.
Autumn worries that she’s not good enough. Keith tells her she has to be great, not good. He heads outside with J. and tells the concerned dad that he has to take Autmn out of her comfort zone. J. tells him OK as long as he’s not mean.
Gwen tells Helena that Keith wants her to dye her hair jet black. She’s kidding, but Helena doesn’t know it. Sam the makeup artist shows up to work on her face, too, and Gwen tells Helena to stop pouting. Helena says she’s not pouting. She’s pissed. Soon enough they reveal to the tormented girl that they’ve only made her blonder and a touch more glamorous. Then they tuck her into a coral, strapless hi-lo gown and ask her what she thinks, She looks stunning, but says she thinks she will look silly playing a banjo and looking like a prom queen.
Back at Savannah’s house, Michael comes upon Robyn packing for Nashville and tells her their money needs to go to bills, not chasing a foolish dream. He says his anger is not about Savannah; it’s about them making decisions together. Overhearing them, Savannah says she hates to hear her parents fight, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and she plans to take it.
Back in Nashville, Keith has invited vocal coach Brett Manning — who has worked with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban — to come spend some time with Autumn. Autumn is flummoxed by the goofy-sounding drills Brett puts her through and walks out. You don’t ask a self conscious girl to shriek like madwoman and get away with it easily, Brett — even if you’ve gotten Taylor Swift to do it, too.
Autumn cries on her dad’s shoulder.
Robyn says she knows Savannah has to improve her vocals if she’s going to compete with Autumn. It’s Savannah’s turn to go a few rounds with Brett. She says she feels weird, but she gamely does the drills, and Brett tells her that by doing so, she completed a year’s worth of growth in 15 minutes.
Julia, Gina, Lauren Marie and Lana are the next to arrive at Keith’s studio. Keith admits he’s less than thrilled to see Lana, but he goes with it. Lana says just watching Keith and Julia working together is good for Lauren Marie … then proceeds to jabber through Julia’s session and try to pitch her kid until she gets herself and her daughter excused from the room.
In their hotel room, Savannah asks her mom what’s going on with her and her father. Robyn tells her not to worry. Then she gets an email from Keith asking Savannah to come sing karaoke that night.
Meanwhile, still in Clyde, the new and improved Helena heads over to her brother’s girlfriend Courtney’s house to ask her opinion of the look. Courtney decides to take Helena on a field trip. They end up at the roller rink. Helena says she’s totally good at skating. Hopefully she’s good at Roller Derby because that’s what they’ll be doing here. Courtney thinks it will help Helena cut loose because you have to be bold and loud. Helena thinks it may have worked.
Back in Nashville, Lana continues to push for Keith to hear Lauren Marie sing. Keith is taken aback, but tells Julia that it’s her time the Presley’s are impinging on, so it’s up to her. Julia tells her friend to go for it. Lauren Marie sings Amazing Grace. Keith tells her to work with a vocal coach and come back in a year. Lana is upset and says she’s still not giving up.
Autumn arrives at Lonnie’s Karaoke Bar and is dismayed to see Brett is along with Keith. She’s even more dismayed to see Savannah and her mom strolling up, too. The men tell the girls they will be performing together — Keith wants to see if Autumn can handle the unexpected and if Savannah can hold her own against Autumn vocally.
They’ll be singing one of my absolute favorite tunes, “Falling Slowly” from the delightful movie Once. The men give the girls 15 minutes to work out their parts and their performance. Autumn lets Savannah take charge, basically staring at her rival like a deer in the headlights.
Brett tells Keith the duet will be magical or a train wreck — there will be no in between. Except that I think it is completely in-between. They sound like two teenage girls singing karaoke. But Brett says they rose to the occasion and exceeded his expectations. Keith says if he had to call it for someone, he’d say Autumn had the edge. Savannah says that’s because she gave Autumn the easy parts and next time she sees Keith she’ll change his mind.
Next week on Chasing Nashville, Helena arrives in Nashville and it’s open mic night for the girls — including Lauren Marie.
So what to you think — is Lana being overbearing or doing what she has to do to make her kid a star? What about Robyn? Would you have survived the vocal exercises? Do you think Helena should look like anything other than Helena? Sound off in the comments section below.
New episodes of Chasing Nashville air Tuesday nights at 10/9CT on Lifetime.