powered by FreeFind

Apple iTunes


Two from North Texas prevail in back-to-back finales of NBC's American Gladiators and Nashville Star

Winners Melissa Lawson of Arlington, Ally Davidson of Dallas

NBC did a Texas two-step Monday night, with Arlington mom-of-five Melissa Lawson twanging to the top of Nashville Star after Dallas newlywed Ally Davidson became the last woman contender standing on American Gladiators.

The twin wins on the shows' season finales gave the state more bragging rights in the wide world of TV's reality competitions, where the champs also have included Burleson's Kellly Clarkson on Fox's first American Idol and ventriloquist Terry Fator of Mesquite on last summer's America's Got Talent.

Lawson, 32, prevailed over another Texas denizen, Gabe Garcia of Lytle, to win a recording contract with Warner Bros. and a performance slot on Aug. 12th at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, where she'll sing on NBC's Today show.

In an Idol-like climax, she performed a specially written debut single, "What If It All Goes Right," while confetti poured down and fellow contestants gathered onstage at Nashville's Acuff Theatre. Lawson then was joined by her husband and their five sons.

Davidson, a 24-year-old sales representative who tried out for Gladiators on her wedding day, out-dueled Tiffaney Florentine despite having a five-second disadvantage on the bruising show's climactic "Eliminator" obstacle course.

"The best honeymoon ever! Ever!" she exulted.

Her husband, Jeff, also made the cut and lasted until last week's Gladiators semi-finals. He impulsively dove into the Eliminator's splash-down pool to join her in victory. Ally won $100,000 and a brand new car before co-host Hulk Hogan bellowed, "Have a good Gladiator maniac night!"

Another North Texan, 19-year-old Joshua Allen of Fort Worth, will try to match Davidson and Lawson later this week. He's one of the four finalists on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance, which has its two-part season finale on Wednesday and Thursday before the Olympics take prime-time's center stage for the next two-and-a-half weeks.