Kacey Musgraves is a big star now, but she got off to a slow start when she first came to Nashville. Like her friend and contemporary Miranda Lambert, she competed on a season of Nashville Star before she was famous — but it didn't go too well.

Nashville Star was a country music reality TV competition that ran for seven seasons, but wound up discovering few actual country stars. Buddy Jewell won the first season — with Lambert placing third! — and Chris Young won Season 4, but mostly semi-obscure names like Erika Jo, Brad Cotter and Melissa Lawson ended up in the winner's circle.

Musgraves competed in Season 5. The 18-year-old was fresh out of Texas at the time, and she just wasn't destined for reality TV greatness — she was the fourth contestant eliminated, placing seventh overall. Musgraves washed out of the reality show on Jan. 25, 2007.

"It's probably a good thing that people don't remember me from that time period," Musgraves tells Yahoo! Music with a laugh. "I was very young and figuring myself out musically and personally. It was a great platform to get myself kind of accustomed to being in the industry and seeing what it was like being away from my tiny little hometown in Texas."

The experience had its ups and downs. "Being in an environment like that kind of thickens your skin, but I also don't think it's very realistic, because music wasn't made to be judged by three people," she observes. "But it was good to walk away with some constructive criticism. It was what it was and it was good, and then I moved to Nashville and I got to just really take my time writing and figuring things out and developing myself, and I'm really, really thankful I had that time."

Angela Hacker won Season 5, but Musgraves got the last laugh. Her 2013 debut album, Same Trailer, Different Park, opened at No. 1 and was certified Gold. She scored a Top 10 hit with her debut single, "Merry Go 'Round," and earned universal critical acclaim, winning a CMA award for Best New Artist in 2013, an ACM for Album of the Year and a Grammy for Best Country Album.

2015's Pageant Material was in the same vein, while Golden Hour in 2018 saw Musgraves combining country, roots music and pop. Her most recent album, 2021's Star-Crossed, saw her crossing over into pop even more, with none of its songs released to country radio. The album was a commercial smash and earned widespread critical acclaim.

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