CMT’s ‘Next Superstar’ Contestants Feed the Hungry, Say Goodbye to Wynn Varble
For the latest episode of CMT's 'Next Superstar,' the final four singers -- Matt Mason, Wynn Varble, Steven Clawson and Danielle Lauderdale -- started their day receiving packages filled with tour merchandise, including 8x10 promo photos and t-shirts. Before long, a brand new top-of-the-line tour bus pulled into the drive of the Nashville home the singers have been staying in since they began battling it out for the title seven weeks ago.
After a walk-through of the new bus, the four the singers were informed that they wouldn't be traveling in that kind of extravagant ride just yet. Instead, they had a much older, run-down bus which would take them to Clarksville, Tenn., where they would help Second Harvest Food Bank hand out food to the hungry.
During the long drive from Nashville to Clarksville, the singers kept busy by signing their stacks of photographs, before attempting to get a good night's sleep. The condition of the bus and the diesel fumes kept most of them from falling into a heavy sleep, but the last straw was the bus breaking down, leaving them stranded on the side of the road. After a van came to pick them up, they were once again on their way, arriving just in time to suit up and help the needy.
The following day, Mason, Varble, Clawson and Lauderdale took to the stage where they each performed a song for the volunteers, who would be judging their performance to determine who would fall into the bottom two for the latest episode.
Clawson was up first and sang a soulful version of Garth Brooks' 'We Shall Be Free.' While his voice was on par throughout the tune, the judges felt his performance lacked the much-needed connection and heart that makes country music such an important part of peoples' lives. Head judge Matt Serletic encouraged Clawson to get out of his comfort zone, which he still had yet to do by week seven of the competition.
Varble was up next and sang his self-penned tune, 'Love Never Changes,' which he wrote five years ago, but felt was a fitting song for the room of volunteers. Varble once again received the thumbs up from the judges for the uniqueness and confidence he possessed in front of the crowd.
Mason chose to sing the George Jones hit 'Choices,' giving a heart-felt talk prior to his performance about how he can relate to the song and the people he was helping as a volunteer. He delivered a solid acoustic performance, leaving the volunteers and judges enthralled by his incredible talent. Mason made the performance and song personal, and connected with the tune as well as the volunteers. Serletic praised Mason, stating that he perfected country's past and he "just might be country's future."
Lauderdale closed out the night with a strong and powerful rendition of 'Lean on Me,' which she sang with passion and plenty of soul. Throughout the R&B-infused song, Lauderdale showed confidence and growth -- a far cry from the girl who took the stage in the competition in week one.
After votes were cast, Mason and Varble found themselves singing to survive. Mason performed Gary Allan's 'Right Where I Need to Be,' while Varble once again went with an original tune, 'Bird Dog Bra,' which had everyone grinning until the last note.
Serletic and the guest judge, singer Colbie Caillat, decided it was Varble's time to pack his bags and head home, giving Mason yet another shot at being the country music's 'Next Superstar.'
Tune in next week when the three remaining finalists get to direct their own music videos, and the competition is narrowed down the the last two singers fighting for their chance at stardom.
CMT's 'Next Superstar' airs Friday nights at 9:00PM ET on CMT.