She might have started off as Nashville's mean girl, but Juliette Barnes has quickly become the character to root for.
When viewers first met the young starlet, played by Hayden Panettiere, she was rude, selfish, overly confident and a downright diva. During her first meeting with Rayna (Connie Britton) she made it clear that she was a superstar on the rise and Rayna was an old, fading has-been. She further proved she'd do anything to get ahead by sleeping with Rayna's producer. (Rayna's ex Deacon wasn't far behind.) But as Juliette's character opened up and her backstory was developed, it wasn't long before we found ourselves wanting her to succeed and thoroughly enjoying the scenes in which she was most vulnerable.
Here are our top reasons why we're rooting for Juliette when Nashville returns on Wednesday (airing 10/9c on ABC):
Juliette deserves happiness after everyone repeatedly let her down
As we saw in the premiere, Juliette wants nothing to do with her mother, but it's not because they just can't get along. For years (and even in the present), Juliette's mom has been a drug addict, leaving her daughter with no money and having to fend for herself. Combine that with an absent father, and Juliette has little reason to trust others. The starlet has been dealt a bad hand, made the most of it and has become our underdog.
Juliette just wants to be loved
In the most recent episode, we saw just how much Juliette wants love in her life when she lit up at the thought of spending time with a real family — until the mother of Sean, her football player boyfriend, not so subtly tried to kick her to the curb. Juliette's retaliatory response? Propose to Sean in a romantic scene surrounded by candles.
Juliette's arc is more interesting to watch
While other story lines seem to repeat over and over again (yes, we know the label wants the two divas to go on tour together), Juliette's arc has moved at a much faster pace. From her mother's drug problems to co-writing with Deacon to falling in love and even finding, albeit temporary, common ground with Rayna, the Juliette we see today is a much different person from the pilot. We can't say the same about many of the other characters.
Juliette can be sweet
The moments may be fleeting, but Juliette has done something nice for others quite a few times. Case in point: Juliette gave her signature pink cowboy boots from a video shoot to Sean's little sister, just because she admired them. Those aren't the actions of someone who is completely selfish.
Juliette has talent
Whether she's performing for a sold-out crowd or writing in the back of a truck, there's no denying Juliette has got chops both vocally and lyrically. (And yes, we've already downloaded her songs to our iPod.) She's not just for show! The girl has solid skills to back up her superstardom.
Are you rooting for Juliette?
Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC.