CMT’s ‘Next Superstar’ Finalists Face Off, Voting Polls Open to Fans
Friday night, CMT's 'Next Superstar' gave the two finalists - Matt Mason and Steven Clawson - one final chance to impress America before opening the phone lines for fans to cast their votes on who they feel is the future "superstar" of country music. Each singer was given the opportunity to sing three song selections, two of which were hand-picked by the judging panel.
Matt Mason's first song of the night was 'Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way,' which was a song he picked because he felt it best fit his sound and style. His rendition set the bar high for his competitor, with the fans who filled the Ryman Auditorium and the judges all agreeing it was an unforgettable performance.
Mason's second song choice was picked by the judges, including famed record producer, Matt Serletic. They gave Mason Roy Acuff's 'Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.' Mason mesmerized the audience as he sat on the steps of the historic stage with his acoustic guitar. Serletic praised Mason's delivery of the song, pointing out that the tune was originally done by the biggest star in country music over 60 years ago, then speculating that Mason may be the biggest star in country music in his time.
His final song selection was picked by Warner Music Nashville's President and CEO, John Esposito, who will be the label head working with the show's winner. Esposito felt an outlaw song was the only way to go for the dark and sexy singer. Mason blazed through the tune, putting it all out on the table as he sung without his guitar for the first time in the competition.
Mason once again received nothing but positive feedback from the judges, which also included Trace Adkins. Adkins said the most enjoyable part of the night for him personally was watching the "honest joy" Mason has on his face while singing.
Steven Clawson started his song selections off with Marc Cohn's 'Walking in Memphis,' which he performed with confidence. His ease behind the microphone was more relaxed than he has presented previously on the show, which pleased the judges. Adkins gave kudos, saying he wished his own voice could do what the young superstar's did in that particular song choice.
For Serletic's song choice, Clawson was asked to sing Ray Price's 'Crazy Arms.' After trying to change it up to best fit his needs, Serletic advised the singer to keep it familiar for his performance in the show, which he nailed.
Clawson had the judges and fans questioning his last song he sang for the crowd. Rather than singing the song hand-picked by Esposito, Clawson chose to sing one of his own tunes. Adkins later joked that the singer got a bit cocky with the decision, but also felt it was a good move. Serletic then added that Clawson could sing the phone book and make it enjoyable, but hopes as Clawson goes on with his career in country music that he is wise about making solid song choices.
Fans can cast their votes by texting MATT or STEVEN to 32709 or by logging on to CMT's website right here. You can vote 10 times per day by each method, up until 10:00AM ET on Friday, June 10. The winner of CMT's 'Next Superstar' will be named later that night, when the show airs live at 9:00PM ET on CMT.