As the NBC reality TV show's contestants advance to the final six, the Tex-Mex cowboy took a break from rehearsing to talk with about being the only Hispanic singer on the show

Por People Staff
Updated Julio 14, 2008

What made you want to audition for Nashville Star?
I didn't even know about the auditions. I was going to Texas to do a wedding, and my buddy called me and said I had to try out for this show. And he said, well do you want to be a wedding singer or a country star? So, I felt bad, 'cause the couple getting married had set me up with a flight and a hotel room and everything, but I had to call the them and cancel. And they were great about it. They understood.

How do you think you're doing in the competition?
I think I'm doing pretty well. I'm glad people are voting for me. I've been getting good critiquing from the judges, but I know I've gotta step it up every time. This experience has been awesome. It's just been a huge stepping stone for my career.

Who's your favorite Judge on the show?
Well, I don't really have a favorite. They're all great. But I guess I've gotten to know Jewel the best, 'cause she's my group's mentor.

What kind of advice has she been giving you?
She's been telling me to move around onstage and trying to get me to flirt and connect with the audience. Whenever I get on that stage I'm really comfortable, 'cause I've been doing this for a long time, but I think they wanted me to be a little less stiff. They even sent me to dance lessons!

Has Billy Ray Cyrus shown you his gyrating moves?
No! (Laughs). He's a great guy. He's given me a lot of praise, and he was on a show the other week saying how talented he thought I was, saying he's gonna be the president of my fan club! He's a real jokester.

On the reality show's website, it says that you quit your job in San Antonio and left to Tennessee after your father passed away last October to follow your dream. Can you tell us a little about that?
My dad was always a big fan and supporter of me. He passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack. He was always telling me I should record this album I was working on, and I did, and I ended up getting copies of the album a week after he passed away. There's so much that I'm doing that he hasn't seen. He was always worried about me going to Nashville, and I always told him I wanted to move, and he said OK, and before he passed away he was going to move me up to Nashville. Him not being there is real hard, 'cause like I said, he's been my biggest fan. God can get you anytime, and it made me realize you only live once, and so I took the risk and I'm pursuing my dream, 'cause this is my time and things happen for a reason. My mom always says now, ‘Your dad is making things happen for you.'

How are you getting along with the other contestants? Is it really competitive?
You know, there was a little group of us that became friends when we started off as 50 contestants, and we've actually pretty much all made it to the final six. We're really close. We help each other out with songs, give each other ideas. You're more in competition with yourself. The people vote, so you have no control. We know someone's going to leave, and that's the hardest part. Since we've gone this far, I think all of us will be well off as far as record deals are concerned. But we're all pretty close, and it freaks people out cause they expect us to be sabotaging each other.