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Emily West Throws Down Her “Freak Flag” on Top 20

Emily West photo courtesy of Capitol Nashville.

Emily West photo courtesy of Capitol Nashville.

Emily West, Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson and Jack Ingram are among the stars on the multi-act Country Throwdown Tour, and GAC’s Suzanne Alexander checks in with the crew from the tour launch in Tampa on this weekend’s Top 20 Country Countdown.

The central theme of the Throwdown is a sort of gritty, edgy, left-of-center brand of country that might seem a little out of character for Emily, who seems a bit sweeter than the Throwdown might imply. But her recent appearance on “The Celebrity Apprentice” might provide a clue about why Emily fits in with the outside-the-box lineup.

Emily and Luke Bryan were the subjects of image makeovers for the series’ two competing teams on that episode, which also featured “Apprentice” album Trace Adkins. Emily was thrilled when one of her childhood icons, Cyndi Lauper, was part of the celebrity team that attended to her, in great part because Cyndi’s quirkiness was always appealing to Emily.

“I’ve been obsessed with Cyndi Lauper like all my life,” Emily told The Huffington Post. “She taught me as a girl to kinda wave my freak flag, because I totally had one, and to not feel bad about it. And that’s what she’s done for so many girls. And, I guess, being in this business… a lot of female acts kinda tend to stay pretty shy and look really pretty and they watch their mouth. And I’m not just one of those girls. And I don’t think Miranda Lambert is either. But I just think a lot of women in today’s music are just starting to wave their freak flag. And I’ve never had a problem with it.”

Other Throwdown acts on the Top 20 this weekend include Heidi Newfield, Sarah Buxton, Little Big Town, Jedd Hughes, the Eli Young Band and Jonathan Singleton. The tour, with or without freak flags, will be in Cincinnati on Friday, Chicago on Saturday and Indianapolis on Sunday.

Top 20 Country Countdown counts down the week’s top country videos from No. 20 to No. 1 as voted by viewers on each week on A new countdown premieres every Friday at 8 p.m. ET on GAC and airs again Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. ET; Sundays at 1 p.m. ET; and Mondays at 10 a.m. ET. Viewers can vote for their favorite videos, as well as purchase Top 20 artists’ albums and ringtones at


1. Carrie Underwood “Temporary Home”
2. Miranda Lambert “The House That Built Me”
3. Reba McEntire “I Keep On Lovin’ You”
4. Zac Brown Band “Highway 20 Ride”
5. Danny Gokey “My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me”
6. Jewel “Stay Here Forever”
7. Bomshel “19 And Crazy”
8. Luke Bryan “Rain Is A Good Thing”
9. Laura Bell Bundy “Giddy On Up”
10. Martina McBride “Wrong Baby Wrong”
11. Uncle Kracker “Smile”
12. Chris Young “The Man I Want To Be”
13. Clay Walker “She Won’t Be Lonely Long”
14. Alan Jackson “It’s Just That Way”
15. Keith Urban “‘Til Summer Comes Around”
16. Tim McGraw “Still”
17. Carrie Underwood “Cowboy Casanova”
18. Emily West “Blue Sky”
19. Brad Paisley “Water”
20. LoCash Cowboys “Here Comes Summer


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