When Melissa Lawson became the "Nashville Star" champion Monday, NBC had the reality-show ideal. This was a "Rocky"-style finish, a win for someone who had been considered an underdog.
She's a mom of five boys. She's 31 and once spent three years without singing. It's a business that seemed to expect its women but not its men to be slender. Lawson has lost 70 pounds, 45 of it since the "Star" competition began.
What emerges is a straightforward, mom-next-door persona. The difference is her powerhouse voice.
On Aug. 12, she'll sing on the "Today" show, from Beijing.