Despite frequent protestations that I do not, under any circumstances, enjoy country music, I’ve found myself perched in front of the TV every Wednesday evening to keep up with the drama in Music City. While a show with so many original songs could have gone south months ago, ABC’s Nashville has actually churned out a number of solid country tunes that kept me humming along all season. In preparation for the season finale this evening, here are the Top 10 tunes that, I admit, I now listen to regularly.
1. “No One Will Ever Love You” Played by Deacon Clayborne and Rayna James
Be still my beating heart. This beautiful duet between Rayna and Deacon in the second episode sent the sparks a’flyin and prompted a season’s worth of delicious sexual tension. I was hoping for a sweet, post-romp reprise a few episodes ago, just to see it come full circle, but they left me hanging. Too bad good television can never let happy couples last for more than a single episode, because it doesn’t look like tonight’s finale has any lovey-dovey duets in store.
2. “Telescope” Played by Juliette Barnes
Channelling her inner T-Swift, Juliette bops around to this hate-to-love-it pop song in a white sequined bustier, clearly establishing her place as Queen of the Teeny Boppers. I’m honestly surprised Biebs didn’t make a cameo just for good measure. I tried to resist, but I love it. I mean, no one wants to like a song called “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” but then, suddenly, it just happens. It’s out of our control.
3. “Undermine” Played by Juliette Barnes
At the beginning of the season, this song gave Juliette a bit more substance than the aforementioned sugary sweet pop number. She pulled on my heartstrings as she bonded with Deacon over her troubled history with her mother. As the season progressed, however, Jules became the tragic, troubled pop star, and the only one undermining was her. Sorry, Miss Thing, I don’t feel bad for you.
4. “When the Right One Comes Along” Played by Scarlett O’Connor and Gunnar Scott
I could create a Top Ten simply of duets by Scarlett and Gunnar, all of which are nothing less than swoon-worthy, but I restrained myself. “When the Right One Comes Along” was so cute I could barely stand it. Like, helloooo you two, snap out of it and realize that the show’s writers are subtly letting us know that you’re meant to be. Put the guitar down and make out already.
5. “Wrong Song” Played by Rayna James and Juliette Barnes
This inevitable Rayna-Juliette duet delivered in a big way. Like any respectable female country stars, our divas took to the stage for a girl power anthem that collectively dismisses that silly male population. And they did it in tiny sequin dresses. I die.
6. “Love Like Mine” Played by Juliette Barnes
Not going to lie, I belt out this little diddy daily while struck in traffic during the rush hour commute. Complete with water bottle microphone. I’m not ashamed. When it comes to Juliette, though, I have a feeling that most of the men in her life are pretty glad they’ll never find another love like hers. You know, the kind that steals your virginity and then leaves you at the altar. Classy lady, that Jules.
7. “Kiss” Played by Avery Barkley
I feel about Avery the way I feel about dental work: sure, I can see why it’s necessary, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. Since he insists on sticking around Music City, apparently attempting to woo Scarlett once again, I guess I’ll throw him a bone. Of the few songs he has performed on the show, “Kiss” has a decent-enough melody and could average a solid 39 on a Top 40. Too bad he burned all the tapes in a temper tantrum. Oops.
8. “Gun for a Mouth” Played By Gunnar Scott
(No video available, sad face!)
I am not a fan of the whole edgy-rockstar-asshole persona that Gunnar has adopted as of late, but I am a fan of actor Sam Palladio in a sweaty, white tee making me feel like he’s singing just to me. Wait.. maybe that’s the same thing. Damn. Those rockstars, they’ll getcha.
9. “Looking for a Place to Shine” Played by Scarlett O’Connor
Scarlett, still a wide-eyed ingenue first sang this song as a demo for Rayna’s label. But the penultimate episode showed a different Scarlett, owning the stage as she reprised the number for her official debut at the Grand Ole Opry. The solo perfectly defines Scarlett’s transformation throughout the first season. She grew from a timid waitress with hidden talent, reliant on the men in her life, to a soon-to-be star with little time for little boys. Go on, girl.
10. “Ho Hey” Played by Maddie and Daphne James
Okay, I realize that this isn’t an original song, but damn, these little ladies have got it goin’ on. Their cover of the current Top 40 hit did little to advance the plot (other than providing a sweet moment between Deacon and Rayna, causing me to yell at my television in frustration over this secret biological father business), but these just may be the two best voices on the show. Step aside, Lumineers, you’ve got nothin’ on their harmonies. If nothing else, Nashville‘s first season introduced these adorable musical prodigies to the world, and for that, I am grateful.