TNT's Private Lives of Nashville Wives looks like one-part Nashville, one-part Real Housewives. Yet the new reality series isn't that easy to define. Last week, BFTV spoke with cast member Sarah Davidson - not a housewife, but a hardworking country music singer - about the show, her career beyond it, and if she was at all worried about being portrayed well on TV.
"Originally I was not so willing," Sarah said of her decision to participate in the show. "I was a little apprehensive, and a couple of my friends suggested that I at least apply and see what it's about. I waited until the last minute and then I sent in my application. And really from just talking to the production company and getting a feel for what the show is about, [it was] a lot different than the typical Housewives show.
"The story that I wanted to tell, which is the story of working hard and making music and writing music, is what my life is about. Honestly, the most important thing to me is music and working hard and being able to continue to make music. I really felt like this is an opportunity to show the world what kind of music I make, what I do, how hard I work and how committed I am."
So don't necessarily expect Private Lives to feature the catfights that have become commonplace on those other shows. "I think they did a really good job in casting and finding women who were very driven and had a lot going on, but also have values and are really rooted in who they are and what they believe," she continued. "We're all women that deal with real life issues. [Things] just a little bit bigger than someone wore the same outfit as you. We really wish the best for each other and uplift each other."
When it comes to Sarah's part of the show, audiences will get the chance to see what her career is really about. "I think people will really get a glimpse into what it's like when an independent artist is out on the road," she explained. "It's not glamorous. We don't have a crew. We're doing our own hair and makeup, picking out our own outfits. And there are so amny other artists out there that are doing the same thing we're doing."
You can listen to "Drink You Up," the first song off Sarah's forthcoming EP, by checking out the video embedded with this article.
Now that the show is on the air and she's had the chance to see the final cut of the premiere episode, is she happy with how she was represented on TV? Can she watch herself without critiquing herself? "I tried to be as open and honest as I could be," she told us. "I was nervous at first, so I was probably a little bit more reserved.
"The opening scene [of the premiere] is me co-writing with some people, and I let the F-word slip out. But I was in a real moment. There's things like that where I wish I hadn't said that," she continued. "Sometimes I'm cringing at kind of the way I look. But I think for the most part it was pretty authentic to who I am."
But no matter what the reality TV experience holds for her, Sarah wants the world to know that it's just one part of who she is, and not all she wants to be known for. "Obviously this show is an outlet and a way to get my music out there, and I'm extremely thankful for the opportunity. It was such a great experience. But I'm not a reality star. I'm an artist," she said. "I want to write music. I want to perform music. I want to be able to take my music on the road and play it for people that identify with it, and I want to connect with them.
"This show could totally flop, and I could still be in a van next year with my band, and I'd still be grateful for that," she told us. "So many people don't get that opportunity."
Private Lives of Nashville Wives continues tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on TNT. For more on Sarah, you can pre-order her self-titled EP on iTunes now, visit her website (sarahdavidson.com) and follow her on Twitter (@sosarahdavidson).