This is the week Coffey Anderson has been waiting for on “Nashville Star.” Assuming, of course, that it’s not the week his supporters don’t come through in the voting on the hit NBC Television show.
But tonight’s live show calls on the five remaining performers to sing original tunes, something Anderson has been waiting to do since the show began.
“This week has gone just great,” Anderson said in a Friday telephone interview. “This is the week we’ll be doing our original music. The entire nation will see the ‘Southern Man.’ I’m really excited about playing this song for the entire country.”
He sang “Southern Man” during his opening act performance for Gary Allan during a Brownwood Reunion Celebration concert, and, he recalls, “It brought the house down.”
Anderson said it’s exciting to be among the top five singers on the program, because he feels that with the wide range of styles each performer represents, they are all at the top of the field.
“We’ve accomplished a lot,” Anderson said, “and we all feel like we’re coming into our own. We’re different type singers, so we’ll just have to see who America chooses. Whatever happens, I’m pleased with the exposure I’ve received and the contacts I’ve made.”
The residents of Nashville continue to give “Nashville Star” contestants the “star treatment” when they venture out into the city, Anderson said.
On Thursday, several of them went to a preview viewing of “The Dark Night,” the new Batman movie, and people in the audience broke into applause when they saw them.
“We had 20 people on the street who stopped us and asked to take pictures,” Anderson said. “It’s just crazy to walk through places. But country music is like. People feel they know you, that they’re close to you. The people are loyal supporters, but they’re also very polite. They always ask if it’s OK to take a picture.”
Among his supporters, Anderson said, is Milie Cyrus, the famous daughter of program host Billy Ray Cyrus.
“But it’s not the judges that will decide this, it’s the viewing audience,” Anderson said. “I know my supporters are having viewing parties in California and Texas, and then they all vote at the end of the show.”
Anderson said the broadcasts have been so successful that NBC has extended its run by one week, dropping plans to have another show with a double-elimination.
“We’ve got three more shows, and I’m determined to be there at the end,” Anderson said.
If he is, the show’s producers are planning visits to the hometowns of the final performers. Anderson isn’t certain whether they means he would be coming to Brown County, where his father lives, or Los Angeles, where his daughter lives.
“But regardless, when this is over, I’m coming back to Brown County for a concert,” he said.
Anderson said the week’s routine of mentoring, practicing and preparing hasn’t changed since the start of the series, but that with fewer performers remaining — it’s now down to five after starting with 12 acts taken from 45,000 who auditioned — the process finishes sooner.
Part of that routine includes media interviews each Friday, which Anderson said often involve answering the same questions repeatedly. But at times, the interviews can be entertaining.
“Some of those radio announcers can have some very strange questions,” Anderson said with a chuckle, but he offered no additional details.
Performers are still not allowed contact with family members during the week, which was part of the agreement.
“Our focus right now is on the show,” Anderson said. “My family knew what was going to happen, and they’ll know that I’ll be home now in three more weeks no matter what happens. I just hope it’s not sooner than that.”