If you watched last night's episode of "Nashville," you, like all other Nashies, were probably left completely shocked and rattled -- like, I was having heart palpitations.

But thankfully, in an effort to dissect and understand the episode's unexpected plot twist, Entertainment Weekly sat down with show creator Marshall Herskovitz and star Connie Britton to talk about the drama.

*Obviously, this article contains "Stand Beside Me" spoilers, so turn back now or forever hold your peace.


Apparently, the Rayna-stalker scene was something Marshall and fellow writer-producer Ed Zwick had planned from the start of season five.

"Marshall wanted it to be a very drawn out, almost theatrical scene," Connie said. "I was thrilled with it, and I thought it was written very well. What I liked was it feels reflective of Rayna as a character. She's confronted with this dangerous conflict, and she's able to dig into the psychology of how to deal with that and also find a way to relate to this guy so that he goes in a different direction. It felt like a cool moment for Rayna, and the actor [Linds Edwards] did a such a wonderful job. It was a really intense long two-person scene — which in television is unusual — and it was fun to go toe-to-toe with him."

For Marshall and Zwick, the scene was inspired by two real-life situations -- the time in 2005 when a woman was held hostage for seven hours and the time in 1982 when a man broke into the Queen of England's bedroom, and she patiently talked with him until someone intervened.

"In both incidents, there was a woman in jeopardy who managed to keep her head and connect with the man and resolve the situation where she was not harmed," Marshall said. "And I find that to be so extraordinary and fitting for Rayna."



Upon joining the show, Marshall also noticed how many of the "Nashville" characters had been victims of trauma and abuse. This realization inspired the stalker storyline.

"Rayna's father was basically a psychopath, Deacon's father was an alcoholic who beat him, Juliette's mother was a drug addict who was horrible — just on and on," he said. "This is such an important subject for all of us in America to talk about because it has so many implications in people's lives. When we talk about the opioid epidemic or child abuse or crime, people don't necessarily connect that with childhood trauma. So for me, it presented an opportunity. This man who himself was traumatized was drawn to Rayna unconsciously because he understood she was a kindred spirit. He recognized she had been traumatized; that's why her music spoke to him so passionately. It ends up being this amazing opportunity to have these two people in the most bizarre of circumstances actually connect."

Now for the moment in episode eight that really got me...


Marshall then went on to explain why, after everything, he decided to end the episode with a devastating car crash.

"She manages to reach this man, she makes a personal connection and because of that she disarms him emotionally, so it felt like a contradiction of the entire scene if he harms her," he said. "Because she succeeded. It just seemed wrong for her to them harm her."

He went on to say that the "randomness" of Rayna's car accident mimics "the horror that lurks beneath everyday life."

"Time and time again in our lives, the best and the worst happen together," he said. "The phenomenon that I call 'the horror that lurks beneath everyday life' is something that seizes you by the throat when you least expect it. I could go on and on about the ways in which you're going along and everything's fine, and then all of a sudden life changes."



Though I was hoping for a little peace of mind, Marshall wasn't quick to disclose what this drama means for next week's episode.

"It's been our longstanding practice has been to never talk about upcoming stories," he said. "The experience of a story is the most important thing. You know she's alive in the previews for next week. But we want people to be in the same state her family is in."

"All I can say is Rayna's tough and she's sustained a lot," Connie said. "Let's wait and see."

Deep breaths, everyone.


Brett Eldredge's Video With Sadie Robertson for "The Long Way" is Finally Here

Once you get past the age difference, Brett Eldredge and Sadie Robertson seem to make quite the couple in the new video for Brett's "The Long Way." Brett shared that the up-and-coming reality TV star turned motivational speaker and actress would be his love interest in a cute Instagram post a few weeks ago. He said it was gonna be "magic" and he isn't that far off.

The tune is all about digging into someone's past and where they came from to learn more about who they are now. Brett is a hopeless romantic, so the song isn't about anyone specific, which makes it even more timeless.

Brett and Sadie take a lap around town and a farm hand-in-hand, as he serenades her throughout the video, via the long way.

Brett did not meet anyone from "Duck Dynasty."

"The Long Way" is the second single off Brett's third album, which is self-titled.

the long way itunes


Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly's Wedding Photos Are the Happiest, Prettiest Wedding Photos EVER

Kacey Musgraves has been saying for months, that when you know you know. And she totally knew when she met Ruston Kelly that he was the love of her life. Kacey described meeting Ruston at the Bluebird Cafe like only a songwriter could, "...Didn't know that I would hear his songs and be meeting the love of my life. Never saw him coming but sometimes life has you under its wing and you don't even realize it."

The two were married on Saturday, October 14 in a picturesque outdoor ceremony near Franklin, Tennessee.

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Dierks Bentley Rocks Neighborhood Block Party With Hit "Somewhere On A Beach"

Dierks Bentley hit the stage early this morning (Oct. 17) on"Good Morning America" to perform his hits "Black" and "Somewhere on the Beach" for a neighborhood block party in Austin, Texas.

The Texas neighborhood has hosted the block party for twelve years and received a visit from Dierks as a result of winning a "GMA" contest. This year they wanted to honor those affected by Hurricane Harvey. So they invited first responders who helped the state during the destruction from Hurricane Harvey.

As Dierks was speaking with meteorologist Ginger Zee, she asked him what it meant to see those faces in the crowd. "I've been around so many first responders this week, I've been promoting a movie, it's coming out, called 'Only The Brave,'" he began.

"These people that rush towards danger when the rest of us are running away from it. Just being around these guys and these women, I have more respect for them now than ever. In country music we really elevate our military, and rightly so. But we need to make sure we're taking care of really recognizing these hometown heroes that we have amongst us"

Dierks co-wrote the song "Hold the Light" for the film "Only The Brave," the first song he wrote and recorded for a film. The movie centers around an elite crew of firemen—The Granite Mountain Hotshots— from Prescott, Arizona who battled a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona in 2013, that claimed the lives of 19 of their members. The film stars Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly.

The singer took to Instagram to share his performance of "Black" saying, "early morning block party from austin on @goodmorningamerica."


A Horse Trainer Proved Super 8 Has A Very Friendly Pet Policy

Lindsey Partridge, also known as the Canadian horse whisperer, was checking into a Kentucky motel when she heard the woman in front of her ask about a pet policy. It was normal for small pets to share a room in the Super 8, but Partridge wanted to see how far the policy would go. When she asked if the policy would cover her horse, the woman behind the desk said, "Aw, I wouldn't mind. You could do that." So Partridge went to her trailer and brought her retired thoroughbred racing horse Blizz into the lobby.

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If This Video Doesn't Get You Excited About the 51st Annual CMA Awards, Nothing Will

I know I'm not the only person that treats the CMA Awards like Christmas morning, right? Right. The 51st Annual CMA Awards will be hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and broadcast live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 8 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network and it's time to start getting excited.

To get you pumped up, the CMA recently released a new Heart of Country video featuring Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and Kelsea Ballerini discussing how country music moves through them. And with the opening guitar chords of Brooks' "Thunder Rolls" playing in the background-- you'll probably watch on repeat.

Urban and Brooks are both up for CMA Entertainer of the Year, with Underwood and Ballerini vying for Female Vocalist of the Year.


[Listen] Scotty McCreery's Deep Vocals Are on Display During Singing of National Anthem

As the Denver Broncos took on the New York Giants Sunday, Oct. 15 at Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Scotty McCreery was on hand to perform a stirring rendition of the national anthem.

Scotty, a lifelong New England Patriots fans, put his favoritism aside to belt out "The Star Spangled Banner" in front of 76,000 fans, who were in attendance. Unfortunately, even Scotty couldn't help the Broncos who were defeated by the previously winless Giants, 23-10, giving New York their first win of the season.

Another big milestone in the singers life occurred recently when Scotty proposed to his longtime girlfriend Gabi Dugal. The 23-year-old popped the question at their favorite spot— the mountains of North Carolina near Grandfather Mountain. McCreery asked Dugal to go on a hike and when he found the perfect spot at the top of the mountain, the "American Idol" winner got down on one knee, presented the ring he had helped design specifically for her, and asked Dugal to be his wife.

"I've been planning this moment for so long that it feels surreal for it to have finally happened," said McCreery of the big moment. They plan to marry in 2018.

Scotty's current single, "Five More Minutes," from his upcoming album, is on the rise at No. 31 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart.


Shania Twain Takes On Role Of Guest Judge on "Dancing With The Stars"

Shania Twain is heading to the dance floor on "Dancing with the Stars." No, not to dance, but to be a guest judge on the reality series competition.

The theme of the show will be "Movie Night," where the remaining contestants will honor iconic dances in film history. Shania will be pulling double duty—not only taking on the role as judge, but also performing her song "Soldier," from her current album, Now, according to PEOPLE.

"Soldier" is featured in the new movie "Thank You For Your Service" about a group of U.S. soldiers who return from Iraq and face the struggle to get back to family and civilian life. "Thank You For Your Service," stars Haley Bennett, MIles Teller and Keisha Castle-Hughes.

As Shania dips her toe in the "DWTS" pool, perhaps we'll see the "Life's About To Get Good" singer take a spin in the ballroom. Shania is no stranger to styling dance moves. The 50-year-old has shown off her moves in many videos over the years including, "Any Man of Mine," "Man, I Feel Like A Woman," and the recent, "Swingin' With My Eyes Closed."

"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays nights on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.


[Listen] One Country Podcast: Las Vegas, Jason Aldean, And A Way Forward

We talk about what it was like inside the country music industry in the ten days since the Las Vegas shooting. Then, Drew went to Jason Aldean's first show back and was surprised by what he found.

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The Most Personalized Children's Book Ever Lets You Put Their Name In The Title

As a church kid, I felt I had arrived when I got my first personalized Bible. It was a pocket bible with my name stamped in gold across the oxblood leather that I used until the cover fell off. A large part of that was because I realized the Bible wasn't a story about someone else, but God's story for me about Himself. That is the message of a new children's book called "Jesus Loves" that will print your child's name right on the cover and address them personally in over 40 places through stories and lessons.

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