By People Staff
Updated June 17, 2008 12:00 AM

Third Town, the male trio that squeaked into Nashville Star‘s final 12 after another contestant dropped out at the last minute, got the boot Monday when they received the least number of votes following the show’s premiere last week.

But the remaining contestants — among them a trio of sisters, a single dad, a male model, an active duty member of the United States Navy and a mother of five boys — got some advice from country music star Trace Adkins, who performed his current hit, “You’re Gonna Miss This.”

“Don’t worry about the voting or the scoring or the judges,” he told them. “Think about the fact that you are playing with some of the finest musicians in the world on national television. You might never get that chance again, so be sure to take it all in and enjoy it.”

CMT star Katie Cook gave Billy Ray Cyrus a hand hosting the first live telecast of the show, during which each of the judges coached one of three teams. Jewel worked with the men, John Rich (of Big & Rich) mentored the women, and songwriter Jeffrey Steele coached the groups. Most improved was veterinary student Alyson Gilbert, who was pummeled by judges the week before for her “pageant-y performance” and narrowly escaped elimination. This week she turned in a restrained but still sizzling performance of the Police‘s “Every Breath You Take.”

Rich told young heartthrob Justin Gastin that he didn’t belong on the show and wondered if fellow-judge Jewel had mentored him or made-out with him, provoking a slap and drop-dead glare from the blonde folk singer on his left.

Navy man Tommy Stanley earned points for most daring performance, when he chose to sing Big & Rich’s big hit “Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy” in front of the song’s co-writer and performer. The gamble paid off, though, when Rich rose from his seat to applaud the effort, noting, “Big Kenny is taking some time off. How does Stanley & Rich sound to you?”

Nashville Star airs again Friday night on CMT (8 p.m. ET). John Russell