Image credit: Mark Levine/ABC
STRAIGHT AND NARROW Scarlett wows with sleeker hair.
For all his efforts, Deacon reaped his rewards: a supportive shoulder rub, an "I'm proud of you," and the promise of abandonment from his sponsor. He's in a better place now -- and if his roomie Scarlett keeps it up with the tough love, maybe Deacon can join her in the sweet-tea-sticky land of rainbows and doilies after all. At least the tea part.
Scarlett had a rude awakening of her own when a stylist grabbed hold of her floral-patterned, tragically covered shoulders, waved her magic wand, and produced a sparkly corset and sexy red poufy skirt ensemble for Scarlett to wear to the Stockholders Showcase. And it's a good thing she could walk or at least stand 'n' sway in those Mary Jane stilettos, because Rayna thrust Scarlett onstage as her replacement at the showcase. (With advance warning, of course. Rayna has manners.)
So now Scarlett knows Rayna's big secret. Get this. RAYNA CAN'T SING.
But oh, boy, Scarlett sure can. What's better than sweet, twangy Scarlett? Haunting, twangy Scarlett! I loved her careful, sultry, at times whispery drawl on a slightly-slowed-down cover of Caitlin Rose's "Waitin'." (Check out the rest of "Waitin'" here -- it's got a great rock swell at the end, sort of what I imagine as "the Liam McGuinnis touch.") Gunnar gazed up at Scarlett throughout all this hammering home about "waiting on a broken heart" -- but now it was a gaze of jealousy instead of mere romantic longing.
In his sheepish, barely-wounded animal way, Gunnar envies the spotlight provided to his buds Scarlett and Will -- a spotlight which, especially in Will's case tonight, Gunnar helped to provide himself. Will, whose makeover was much less profound than Scarlett's (when isn't he wearing a black cowboy hat?), performed a Gunnar Scott original, something Gunnar had just whipped up in the living room during this newly inspired phase of his life of wishin' and dreamin'. "What if you wanted to feel alive? What if you wanted somebody to love you right?" Good stuff. And okay, I guess to a lesser extent: "What if you're wearing a sundress?"
Will doesn't understand Gunnar's hesitation to let him use his songs. Shouldn't this be what Gunnar wants, as a songwriter with a publishing deal?
For now, Gunnar just wants some company. What if... he and Zoey were the last two non-recording artists in a sea of stockholders? Boom! That settles it; they leave the party together. "That's the best offer I've heard all night," said Zooey. I think she left out "only." Come on, that had to be the first time someone had spoken to her all day.
Liam McGuinnis is back, which you may have noticed from all the "St. Lucia" name-drops during the hour. It's like he's the sole representative of the island. I keep expecting a Sandals commercial featuring him and Rayna to pop up during each break. Nashville, sponsored by St. Lucia.
After a rousing discussion of how in retrospect Rayna probably should have just traveled to St. Lucia with Liam instead of headfirst into a country road with Deacon, Liam St. Lucia agrees to get back to work on Rayna's next album -- which might be her last. "I'm an excellent producer," he marveled after listening to their tracks again. "I'm very sorry," Rayna throatily croaked out, "that I did not go with you to St. Lucia."
NEXT: Why Rayna's really sorry