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'Nashville Star' singers say show tampered with reality

Producers exaggerated rift over age differences, ousted Aussie contends

By BRAD SCHMITT

Staff Writer

A Nashville Star contestant yesterday accused producers of manufacturing a controversy and making her the villain in it, a scenario that, she said, resulted in her getting booted off the fan-voted show Tuesday.

''I'd be feeling a lot better if I was voted off for poor performance,'' said Aussie Tamika Tyler, a judge's favorite. ''But I know that's not the case.''Nashville Star producers yesterday called Tyler's allegations ''un-founded.'' They insisted there very much was a rift between older and younger contestants, that the show fairly portrayed it, and that Tyler, a good singer, just failed to connect with voters.Complaints about reality show producers' tampering with reality are nothing new, but this is the first for Nashville Star, a USA Network talent competition in its third season.

Tyler, 33, one of the older contestants, told The Tennessean yesterday that she suffered a fan backlash from a minute-long segment that preceded her performance on last week's show, a segment that she says demonstrates producers created a controversy. That piece showed Tyler saying she called a contestants' meeting because she thought they were all ''feeling disconnected.'' It then showed a brief exchange about older vs. younger contestants, with Tyler saying, ''It's been a long road for us older ones

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Erika Jo's CD came out this week. My friend from Universal gave me a copy of it, knowing how big of a fan of the show I was, and I love it. I really feel like she deserved to win. Her voice is great and the songs really do her justice. I was curious to see what other watchers of the show think of her? Or if anyone else has the album, what do you think of it? I found a stream of her first single, so if you have no idea who she is you can check it out. Let me know what your thoughts are.

Real Media:

http://209.200.98.131/ErikaJo/audio/IBreakThings.ram

Windows Media:

http://209.200.98.131/ErikaJo/audio/IBreakThings.asx

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'Nashville Star' Launches Casting Tour for Season Four

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In front of Season One's 'Nashville Star' house are (L-R) BMI's Perry Howard,

first place Buddy Jewell, third place Miranda Lambert, runner-up John Arthur

Martinez, BMI's Mark Mason and Deanna Bruton.

"Nashville Star 4" will launch a national casting tour beginning at the Saddle Ranch Chop House in Universal City, Los Angeles, on October 21 from 12:00-6:00 p.m. and continuing on to 16 cities across America including Chicago, Dallas, DC, Portland, Atlanta and Las Vegas.

The casting tour is scheduled for the following dates and cities:

October

October 21 Los Angeles, California

October 29 Chicago, Illinois

October 29 Morgantown, West Virginia

October 29 Phoenix, Arizona

October 29 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

November

November 50 Dallas, Texas

November 50 Lincoln, Nebraska

November 50 Raleigh, North Carolina

November 50 Tampa, Florida

November 12 Portland, Oregon

November 12 Washington, D.C.

November 12 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

November 12 Atlanta, Georgia

November 18 Nashville, Tennessee

November 21 Indianapolis, Indiana

November 30 Houston, Texas

December

December 80 Las Vegas, Nevada

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Season One's 'Nashville Star' Buddy Jewell

How it works:

  1. Those auditioning will have one minute to perform a song off an approved song list.
  2. A select few of the most talented will be invited back the next day for a chance to sing either two (2) cover songs from the approved song list or one (1) song off the list and one (1) original song.
  3. The top contestants then proceed to one of two regional competitions to again audition for a chance to appear on the show.
The auditions are open to women and men, ages 18 and over (as of January 1, 2006), who think they have what it takes to become the next "Nashville Star." Updated information on auditions including cities, locations and times, song lists and applications can be found on http://www.usanetwork.com/nashvillestar/.

As in the past, the winner of this season's "Nashville Star" will receive a major music recording contract with a top-level record label. Season One's third place contestant, Miranda Lambert became a household name when her "Kerosene" became the highest-selling debut album of 2005. She is currently a front-runner for CMA's Horizon Award honoring new talent.

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Season One's Third Place Miranda Lambert

But even runners-up come away with something most country music artists work years to achieve. "'Nashville Star' was like a ten-week audition in front of every record label VIP in Nashville and country music fans across the country," says Miranda Lambert, who came in third place in the country music competition on the USA Network.

The first three seasons of the series have launched the careers of promising artists including Season One's winner Buddy Jewell, third place contestant Miranda Lambert and 2005's "Nashville Star" Erika Jo. Buddy Jewell debuted his self-titled CD at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and was eventually certified gold by the RIAA.

Erika Jo, the most recent "Nashville Star," landed at No. 5 on the same chart with her self-titled debut CD and at No. 27 on the Hot 200 Album Chart (all genres), outselling Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich, Tim McGraw and Shania Twain, among others.

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Courtesy of: http://www.usanetwork.com/nashvillestar/

Nashville Star will return to USA Network for a fourth season in March 2006, and season four auditions are now underway!

Only a few audition times left.

Edited by Dade
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Wynonna, Cowboy Troy Tapped For 'Nashville Star'

by Barry A. Jeckell

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Cowboy Troy and Wynonna

Veteran artist Wynonna and "hick-hop" country rapper Cowboy Troy have signed on to co-host the USA Network talent search series "Nashville Star." The show's fourth season is slated to premiere March 7 on the cable network.

"She's a legitimate icon in both the country world and our popular culture," USA's Executive VP of original programming says of Wynonna. "By pairing Wynonna with someone as artistically groundbreaking as the MusikMafia's Cowboy Troy, we

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Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE

Big & Rich To Kick Off Nashville Star 4

NASHVILLE STAR, the nation's top-rated country music series, has partnered with Nashville's notorious MuzikMafia to bring the hottest new talent to season four including an electrifying opening performance from Big & Rich in episode one, it was announced today by Libby Hansen, USA's vice president, alternative series and specials.

"Big & Rich is one of the hottest acts in country music right now, and we are thrilled to have them join the already exciting line-up of season four," explained Hansen. "By building off the ratings success of last year and by joining forces with both the RCA Label Group and now the MuzikMafia, we have unparalleled momentum for the first episode. It's a homerun for NASHVILLE STAR."

Episode one will open with a high-energy performance by the Grammy-nominated duo before they retire to the judges' table to advise contestants alongside show veterans Phil Vassar and Anastasia Brown. Mafia member and "hick-hop" artist Cowboy Troy will co-host season four with five-time Grammy Award-winning superstar Wynonna Judd (Curb Records). Additional celebrity judges and performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Also coming on board the team as producers for the upcoming season is Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy manager Marc Oswald along with Kerry Hansen, Wynonna's manager. They will join the NASHVILLE STAR production team to help elevate the creative and musical elements of each episode including the opening and closing performances. In addition, they have set out to create a dynamic and powerful way to further incorporate the unique talents of the hosts in a way that has not been done.

"One of the long-time goals of the Mafia is to bring country music to people in a newer, broader, more unfiltered way," explained Oswald. "NASHVILLE STAR reaches millions of Americans each week with some of the nation's most promising new voices, so this makes perfect sense."

As previously announced, the winner of NASHVILLE STAR will receive a recording contract from the RCA Label Group, home to multi-platinum superstars Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley and Sara Evans, among others.

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Courtesy of: USA NETWORK, NASHVILLE STAR

FINAL CONTESTANTS CHOSEN FOR SEASON 4

The Producers of Nashville Star would like to thank each and every one of the over 20,000 people who auditioned for this year's show. At this time, all contestants being considered for a spot on the show have been contacted.

Tune in March 14 at 10/9C to see who made the cut when Big & Rich kick off the new season!

WYNONNA JUDD, COWBOY TROY NAMED NEW HOSTS

Five-time Grammy Award Winning Superstar Wynonna Judd and Hick-Hop originator Cowboy Troy have been announced as the new hosts for the fourth season of USA Network

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Courtesy of: USA, NASHVILLE STAR

CONTESTANTS

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Jared Ashley hails from Hobbs, New Mexico, but attended high school in both Hobbs and Newnan, Georgia. He began singing at age 10 and is proficient in a variety of instruments including: guitar, bass, piano and even the tuba. Travis Tritt's "Help Me Hold On" was the first record he ever bought, and Jared would most like to do a duet with either Kenny Rogers or Carrie Underwood.

Jared's goal in life is to play music for a living, tour and see the country, and have the best career possible. He hates karaoke, but if you twisted his arm, Jared would sing "Amazed" by Lonestar. The best adjective Jared would use to describe himself: ambitious - something he shares with fellow New Mexico native Melanie Torres.

Fun Facts on Jared Ashley:

What is your favorite TV show? Movie? Book?

TV show: I love The Discovery Channel

Movie: Wedding Crashers

Book: Lorrie Morgan's autobiography

Describe your fantasy vacation:

Put me on a beach in Mexico, drinking Dos Equis and just chilling.

What is your favorite food? ice cream flavor?

Food: Mexican. Ice cream: Moose tracks.

What is the worst job you've ever had?

Digging holes for fence posts.

Do you have any pets?

Two Shih Tzus, Gizmo and Stinky.

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Second Eliminated

Shy Blakeman calls Kilgore, Texas home. Country music wasn't always in Shy's blood. The first album he ever bought was from the rap group Public Enemy and he only began singing at age 15. Now, Shy is all about his music, citing his personal goal as being able to make a successful living playing music. He counts playing guitar and the mandolin as his other musical talents.

If Shy could perform a duet with one artist, it would be Bonnie Raitt. And although he doesn't sing karaoke, he imagines he would belt out "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey for his debut. Heroes? Shy has one: his mom.

Fun Facts on Shy Blakeman:

What is your favorite TV show? Movie? Book?

TV show: The Sopranos

Movie: Gangs of New York

Book: "The DaVinci Code" by Dan Brown

Describe your fantasy vacation:

Spending one month exploring all of Jamaica.

What is your favorite food? ice cream flavor?

Food: chicken Curry. Ice cream: rocky road.

What is the worst job you've ever had?

Tech support for online company.

What are your turn-ons? Turn-offs?

Turn-ons: I love a girl who's not afraid to be goofy - confidence also is a big turn on.

Turn-offs: I don't like women who think they're better than everyone else or who wouldn't give somebody a chance because of it.

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First Eliminated

Jewels Hanson was born and raised in Fremont, California, but now calls herself a proud resident of Nashville, Tennessee. Singing has always been a part of Jewels' life. Her mother says she "came out singing" and Jewels' first public performance came at the age of 3 when she sang at church. When it comes to personal goals, Jewels sees the big picture of wanting to constantly grow and improve as a person, an artist and as a Christian.

Jewels is a quadruple threat on stage: vocals, piano, guitars and a mean cowbell! Her greatest musical influence is Travis Tritt. Jewels has been a fan of Travis' for a long time and would love the opportunity to meet him, let alone do an on-stage duet with him. Although, the USC alum might not want to let Travis know that her favorite song to sing karaoke with is "Copa Cabana" by Barry Manilow!

Fun Facts on Jewels Hanson:

Who is your hero?

My brother Steve. He is an amazing role model, father and brother. He is absolutely the strongest, smartest, kindest, most giving man I know.

Describe your fantasy vacation:

I would love to take a bunch of friends on a rafting trip down the Grand Canyon. Being on the river, having to work as a team and relying on each other through the rapids would be a really cool bonding experience. Plus, it would be so much fun! I love camping and the outdoors.

What is the first album you ever purchased?

The soundtrack to "Annie"

What is your favorite food?

A good steak, medium rare.

What are your turn-ons and turn-offs?

Turn-ons: Matthew McConaughey, a good baseball game, talent, a great smile, chivalry.

Turn-offs: Bad teeth, body odor, bad manners, dishonesty, insecurity.

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Nicole Jamrose hails from Schererville, Indiana. She began singing in her middle school choir, but took a long hiatus thereafter. It wasn't until she attended Purdue University and joined a band named "Davis Farm" that she began doing singing again. In addition to vocals, Nicole also plays guitar and envisions her dream duet with either Willie Nelson or Bonnie Raitt.

If Nicole had to describe herself in one word, it would be compassionate - a trait she shares with her hero, Martin Luther King, Jr. Outside of performing, Nicole enjoys reading, writing, hiking and card-making. Nicole's personal goals are to be happy, to further her musical career and to provide financial stability for her family.

Fun Facts on Nicole Jamrose:

What is your favorite TV show? Movie? Book?

TV show: Desperate Housewives

Movie: I Am Sam

Book: "Choice Theory" by William Glasser

Describe your fantasy vacation:

Going on an African safari and spending time with the locals, learning about their culture and music.

What is the first album you ever purchased?

Probably Michael Jackson's "Thriller"

What is your favorite food?

Ice Cream

What is the worst job you've ever had?

Working in my college dorm cafeteria - having to wear that beautiful hair net!

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Third Eliminated

Monique LeCompte is a California girl through and through, having grown up in Grand Terrace and currently residing just 25 miles west in Rancho Cucamonga. Like fellow Nashville Star contestant Jewels Hanson, Monique began singing at age 3 in church and competing/performing around the age of 6. Monique doesn't play any instruments well enough to "brag about" but she's looking to improve her guitar and piano playing in order to grow as an artist.

When it comes to personal goals, Monique would be satisfied being a happy and good person regardless of where God leads her. If given the opportunity to be a world-renowned entertainer, Monique would use her music to help people around the world in any way that she could. She's personally been moved by many artists, most notably: Martina McBride, Vince Gill, Rascal Flats, Celine Dion and Michael Buble. When describing herself, Monique leaves the job to her friend Destine', who characterizes Monique as "Genuine and Electrifying!"

Fun Facts on Jewels Hanson:

What is your favorite TV show? Movie? book?

TV Show: Viva La Bam, Friends, Will and Grace and I'm starting to get into Gilmore Girls. After working 16-hour days sometimes, I like to come home and watch all the shenanigans that Bam and his friends set up. It cracks me up and helps me get my mind off of my day so that I can relax and go to sleep. The other three shows are hilarious and so brilliantly written! I can't tell you how many times I have quoted lines from those shows!

Movie: Forrest Gump, Liar Liar, The Lord of The Rings trilogy, all of the Harry Potter movies and Napoleon Dynamite. I can watch these movies hundreds of times and still laugh and cry the same way I did the first time I saw them!

Book: The Bible and "The Four Agreements" by Don Luis Miguel.

What is the first album you ever purchased?

Music has always been so prevalent in my house even as a child that I honestly don't remember a time without records, 8-tracks and cassette tapes being around. I do remember the first CD I bought or owned and it was Joey Lawrence's self-titled debut album. I totally loved the show "Blossom" and had the hugest crush on Joey so when he released an album I bought it. I still have it and admittedly still listen to it occasionally.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Rainbow sherbet, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Butterfinger Blizzards from Dairy Queen.

Hobbies outside of music?

Spending time with family and friends. NASCAR (Nextel Cup Series ... Go Rusty! #2 ... please don't retire!) and American muscle car shows. Anything outdoors like going to the beach, hiking, going up to the mountains to play in the snow, etc... I really wanna try snowboarding sometime this year!

What is the worst job that you have ever had?

Clothing retail! Needless to say, I hate folding and hanging up clothes now!

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Matt Mason is the second contestant (Nicole Jamrose) from this year's group who hails from Indiana -- Fairland, Indiana, to be exact. Matt got his start on the mic at age 12 and remembers the first album he ever bought as being by Johnny Cash. Like the Man in Black, Matt also plays guitar.

Matt has found the right avenue in Nashville Star to pursue his dream of making it as a country artist. His dream duet would've been to share the stage with Waylon Jennings, but Merle Haggard is a close second. Honest and dependable is how Matt describes himself, something that surely makes his hero, grandpa Wallace, very proud.

Fun Facts on Shy Blakeman:

What is your favorite TV show? Movie? Book?

TV show: The Cosby Show

Movie: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Book: Cash: The Autobiography

What is your favorite food? ice cream flavor?

Food: Fried chicken. Ice cream: Cookies 'n cream.

What are your hobbies outside of music?

Hunting & Fishing

What is the worst job you've ever had?

Loader at a major shipping company.

What is your favorite video or board game?

SOCOM Navy Seals

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Napa Valley, California native Kristin McNamara got started singing as soon as she "could make noise" - at age 11 she knew she wanted to be a BIG star. Kristin doesn't mince words when it comes to her goals, saying she'd love to be the biggest-selling artist ever. She would love to have so much success that she could paint on the side and own a little shop on the beach selling expensive panties and "soap things" while her boyfriend sells hot dogs down the road on a bike. That said, she would also love just to have a family someday when she's 50 and perhaps do some in-home design.

Kristin also plays piano and guitar, as well as a little drums and one song on the flute. Her goal is to learn a little of every instrument. Kristin's dream duet would be with either Def Leppard or Pink Floyd, but realistically, she'd be fine with jumping on stage with Brian Adams or Big & Rich. Kristin sums herself up as friendly and outgoing.

Fun Facts on Kristin McNamara:

What is your favorite TV show? Movie? Book?

TV show: Seinfeld

Movie: National Lampoon's Vacation

Book: Celine Dion's biography

What's the first album you ever bought?

Oh dear, that's not cool: it was The Simpsons Soundtrack. It's sad, shut up.

What's your favorite food? ice cream flavor?

I love Sushi and Mexican food. Pink bubble gum ice cream with sprinkles.

Who is your hero?

My U.S. Army boyfriend.

What are your hobbies outside of music?

Hunting, fishing -- I have my Tennessee fishing license -- painting, swimming, bouncing off the walls.

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Casey Rivers comes to Nashville from Lindale, Texas. He began singing at age 3 and counts guitar and saxophone as his other musical talents. Casey's goal is obvious: to be a successful country music singer. But as long as he's doing something in music, he'll be happy.

Casey cites Elvis Presley as a heavy musical influence. The first album he ever bought was by Elvis and when he grabs the karaoke mic, any Elvis song will do. The artist he'd love to do a duet with? Brad Paisley would be nice, as would Carrie Underwood, or Carrie Underwood and then maybe Carrie Underwood. It's only fitting that a man named Rivers would count fishing and "anything on water" as his hobbies outside music.

Fun Facts on Casey Rivers:

What is your favorite TV show? Movie? Book?

TV show: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Movie: Dumb and Dumber

Book: The Bible

Describe your fantasy vacation:

Somewhere high in the mountains in a cabin with snow all around, or on some beach somewhere.

Who are your heroes?

My parents and our fighting men and women, past and present.

Do you have any pets?

A cat named Tooterbill.

What is the best adjective used to describe you?

Loving.

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Melanie Torres comes to Nashville from Albuquerque, New Mexico where she grew up and attended the University of New Mexico, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Music. Melanie began singing at the age of 9 and the first album she ever bought was one from Michael Jackson. She also plays the piano, and is learning how to play guitar to broaden her repertoire.

When it comes to goals, Melanie wants to be a successful mother and a role model for young Hispanic women. Professionally, she dreams of one day being CMA Female Vocalist of the Year ... not surprising when you consider that the one word Melanie would choose to describe herself is ambitious. If she got to do a duet with one artist, it would be Martina McBride and her favorite karaoke sing is "Love Shack" by the B-52's.

Fun Facts on Melanie Torres:

What's your favorite food?

Pizza with green chile.

What are your favorite hobbies outside of music?

Riding and showing Quarter Horses, lifting weights, running and boating.

Do you have any pets?

I have one female American Pit Bull Terrier. I did have an adorable (well some would disagree) Sharpei, but I chose to put him to sleep because he bit two people. :(

What's your favorite board or video game?

A card game called Animals. Each person picks an animal name. All players place a card down at the same time, if two people have the same card, the person that says the other person's name first wins that person's cards. The player with the most cards wins. Did you get all of that?

What are some of your turn-ons? turn-offs?

Turn-ons: People who work hard to achieve things, honesty, cleanliness, people who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, and passionate kissers. :)

Turn-offs: Bad personal hygiene, two-faced people, people that put others down just to make themselves feel better, smoking, chewing tobacco, loud, obnoxious women, and women that have no respect for themselves.

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Chris Young, the lone contestant raised in Tennessee (Murfreesboro), began singing at age 8, when he was asked to be a part of a children's song and dance act for the town July 4th celebration because they needed another boy. Chris admits he's pretty single-minded when it comes to his personal goals: To sing for the rest of his life, become a better songwriter and make a living in the music business. In addition to vocals, Chris also plays guitar and a little piano.

The artist he'd most like to perform a duet with: George Strait. Keith Whitley's "Miami My Amy" was the first album he bought, and Whitley's "Ten Feet Away" is his favorite song to sing at karaoke. Chris counts his mom as his hero and when asked what one word he'd use to describe himself, Chris cut to the core: country.

Fun Facts on Chris Young:

What is your favorite TV show? Movie? Book?

TV show: Family Guy

Movie: Super Troopers

Book: The Harry Potter series

Describe your fantasy vacation:

A weekend in a cabin with my friends, a fire and lots of snow.

What are your hobbies outside of music?

I love to dance and workout. I also read a lot.

What is the worst job you've ever had?

I once had to dig and brick a driveway using a shovel and wheelbarrow on one of the hottest days Tennessee has ever seen. I was dog tired when I finished ... and really sun burnt.

Do you have any pets?

One plain old barn cat named Tigger, who lives in the house, wouldn

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Courtesy of: NBC UNIVERSAL MEDIA VILLAGE (NBCUMV)

REVISED - SUPERSTARS GRETCHEN WILSON AND LARRY THE CABLE GUY START A REDNECK REVOLUTION ON "NASHVILLE STAR"

Published: February 13, 2006

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Season Four premieres on Tuesday, March 14 at 10 PM / 9 PM Central

NASHVILLE, TENN. -- February 13, 2006 -- NASHVILLE STAR, the nation's top-rated country music series, has landed Grammy award winning Gretchen Wilson and Billboard's 2005 Comedy Artist of the Year Larry the Cable Guy to appear in the second episode of the hit talent search series, it was announced today by Libby Hansen, USA Network's vice president of alternative series & specials.

"Gretchen and Larry each bring something different and exciting to the NASHVILLE STAR party," said Hansen. "We are in a great position going into season four with some of the most notable names in entertainment scheduled to take our stage."

In the second week of NASHVILLE STAR, themed "Redneck Revolution" after Gretchen Wilson's upcoming 2006 tour by the same name, the reigning CMA Best Female Vocalist will light up the stage with an opening performance of her highly-anticipated next single. The contestants will perform various songs with similar redneck themes, and Larry the Cable Guy will contribute some "Blue Collar Comedy" from the judges table alongside show veterans Anastasia Brown and Phil Vassar.

Executive Producer H.T. Owens added, "It's incredible to have Gretchen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy on NASHVILLE STAR this year. Gretchen has a phenomenal album out, and we are huge fans. Larry the Cable Guy has a feature film in theatres this spring that is going to be tremendous."

As previously announced, MuzikMafia member and "hick-hop" artist Cowboy Troy will co-host with Five-time Grammy Award Winning Superstar Wynonna Judd (Curb Records). Superstars Big & Rich will perform and judge the premiere episode.

NASHVILLE STAR is created by Reveille and executive produced by Ben Silverman ("The Biggest Loser," "The Office") and H.T. Owens ("The Restaurant," "30 Days"). Jeff Boggs will executive produce in association with Reveille again for the second year. The show is produced by Jon Small ("Garth Brooks Live From Central Park," "Billy Joel Live at Yankee Stadium") and his production company, Picture Vision, alongside co-executive producer Mark Koops ("The Restaurant," "Blow Out").

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'Nashville Star' gets a makeover

With new hosts and new feel, this season's country talent contest will get personal with the wannabes

By BRAD SCHMITT

Staff Writer

Monday, 03/13/06

New Nashville Star hosts Wynonna and Cowboy Troy may be getting most of the attention for the launch of the show's fourth season, which kicks off tomorrow night on cable's USA Network, but producers want the contestants to be the stars this time around.

Or at least, they hope you'll remember the contestants' names.

The show's pre-packaged pieces will let you get to know contestants better this season, co-executive producer H.T. Owens says.

Owens wants those packages to let you get inside the singers' heads.

In what may look similar to ABC's Dancing With the Stars, Nashville Star will follow a contestant through each week's song choice and any struggles that come up with pitch or tone or high notes or judges' feedback from the prior show.

"If a person grapples with whether they're going to hit the high note or a stage move they want to pull off because a judge says they need more passion," Owens said, "then we want to see contestants achieve that. Can they do it? There's a natural drama and we want to tap into that. We want to deal directly with what we're going to see as part of the contestant's performance."

In previous seasons of Nashville Star, contestants were shown doing feel-good projects or fundraisers or home visits. And there was just a dash of drama from the contestants' house thrown in.

No more.

"It's not going to be Real World in Nashville," Owens said. "The focus on this year's show is watching these incredibly talented amateurs perform week after week."

That should provide enough drama, he said.

"I think it's going to be funny and I think there's going to be heart-wrenching moments. This is poised to be our best year yet."

And Owens and others don't feel that way just because of a new focus on going behind the scenes.

Nashville Star ditched its solo host format (Access Hollywood host Nancy O'Dell for two years and LeAnn Rimes last year) in favor of what they hope will be an unpredictable mix of veteran Wynonna and rapping Cowboy Troy, a MuzikMafia product whose first single had him playing chicken with a train.

Wynonna herself is among those who at first blush thought it sounded like an odd pairing.

"They called me and said, 'We've got this black rapping cowboy. I'm like, 'Is this Cirque du Soleil?' " she said. "It sounded very outrageous."

But Wynonna said any trepidation melted when they put together some promo spots for the show.

"We both jelled really well. Troy is a very smart, charming, funny person," Wynonna said. "There are very few people who have that 'it' thing. And Troy's got it."

For his part, Cowboy Troy said the Nashville Star gig was a no-brainer.

"I take my father's advice: Make hay while the sun is still shining. Go host if I get the chance," said Troy. "It helps me hone my skills in that arena."

Also new this season:

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Courtesy of: FOXREALITY

Eliminated Nashville Star Contestant Tells Fans They Should Have Called More

March 29, 2006

by Joe Reality

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Special guest Kenny Rogers opens the Nashville Star show with

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Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE

Nashville Star Results: Melanie Torres Eliminated

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Sara Evans is the special musical guest and sings

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Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE

Nashville Star: Chris Young Shines, Kristen McNamara Eliminated

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The best episode of Nashville Star is usually original song night, but this year proved to be the exception. The only one that really shined on original song night was Chris Young. In fact Chris Young was so much better than the other contestants that it will be a complete shock if he doesn

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Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE

Nashville Star: Trace Adkins To Perform, Patti Labelle To Guest Judge

NASHVILLE STAR, the nation's top-rated country music series, has tapped multi-platinum superstar Trace Adkins to open episode six with a live performance of his smash hit "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" and Grammy-Award winning R&B Vocalist Patti Labelle to serve as guest judge, it was announced today by Libby Hansen, USA Network's vice president of alternative series & specials. Episode six will broadcast live on Tuesday, April 18 at 10:00 PM ET on USA Network.

"Trace Adkins is on fire right now," explains Hansen. "This single spent weeks at the top of both the country and dance club charts, he's been nominated for countless awards and he is selling out arena dates across the country. His high-octane live performance is the perfect way to open the next episode of Nashville Star!"

The legendary Patti Labelle will join show veterans Anastasia Brown and Phi Vassar at the judges table. With only four contestants remaining, each will compete for America's votes before someone is eliminated at the end of the show.

"So much of country music's heritage comes from Rhythm and Blues," explains executive producer Jeff Boggs. "Patti Labelle's music has influenced so many of today's young artists, and her advice for our contestants will be invaluable."

With only one female remaining, Nicole Jamrose (Schererville, IN), will take on Jared Ashley (Hobbs, NM), Chris Young (Murphreesboro, TN), Matt Mason (Fairland, IN) and Casey Rivers (Lindale, TX) in a battle to the end. The winner of Nashville Star will receive a recording contract from the RCA Label Group, as well as an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry and a Chevy Silverado.

NASHVILLE STAR is created by Reveille and executive produced by Ben Silverman ("The Biggest Loser," "The Office") and H.T. Owens ("The Restaurant," "30 Days"). Jeff Boggs (Late Show with David Letterman, Tom Green Show) will executive produce in association with Reveille again for the second year. The show is produced by Jon Small ("Garth Brooks Live From Central Park," "Billy Joel Live at Yankee Stadium") and his production company, Picture Vision, alongside co-executive producer Mark Koops ("The Restaurant," "Blow Out").

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Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE

Nashville Star: Jared Ashley Eliminated, Chris Young Still Going To Win

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Despite Chris Young winning the competition last week by being the only contestant with a good original song, Nashville Star apparently decided not to end the show early. Some of the contestants managed to redeem themselves from last week, but this season of Nashville Star is still Chris Young

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Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE

Hank Williams, Jr. To Perform On Nashville Star

Nashville Star, the nation's top-rated country music series, will kick off episode seven with an opening performance by country music superstar Hank Williams, Jr. of his current hit "That's How They Do It In Dixie," while rock icons Scott Weiland and Duff McKagan of Velvet Revolver sit in as guest judges, it was announced today by Libby Hansen, USA Network's vice president of alternative series & specials. Episode seven will broadcast live on Tuesday, April 25 at 10:00 PM ET on USA Network.

"When we booked the infamous Bocephus a few weeks ago, we laughed about having to implement a five second delay," jokes Hansen. "Add Weiland and McKagan giving unedited advice to our contestants, and it's enough to make any network executive a little nervous. There is no question it will be an exciting and unpredictable episode!"

Recognized only by a few, Weiland & McKagan have long-standing ties to Nashville's music scene having written and performed with some of country music's premiere artists and give credit to Jerry Jeff Walker, Emmy Lou Harris, Merle Haggard and Graham Parsons to having helped shaped their careers.

"I have always been influenced by country artists along my musical journey," explains McKagan. "Lately, I have been fortunate enough to be working with some of the great Nashville writers. I look forward to participating as a guest judge in a musical genre that is so close to my heart."

Award-winning actress Ashley Judd will also make a special appearance to honor her sister and Nashville Star host Wynonna with a career achievement award recognizing an important career milestone and total album sales.

"Very few artists achieve the level of success that Wynonna has reached," said executive producer H.T. Owens. "Having her sister Ashley on the show to honor her is one of those heart warming moments that people will always remember."

Last Tuesday's original episode of NASHVILLE STAR saw impressive growth over the previous week, earning 1.3 million in P25-54 and ranking as the #1 show in its 10p time slot. This was the most-watched regular season episode (non premiere/non-finale) of NASHVILLE STAR in almost three years (since the 4/26/03 Season 1 episode). Additionally, season four has seen a 32% increase in viewers who vote either by phone or online totaling 1.2 million votes per episode.

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Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE

Nashville Star Shocker: Matt Mason Eliminated

In a twist, Cowboy Troy and Wynonna announced that all four Nashville Star finalists would get to perform this week. Footage is also shown of the four finalists giving concerts in their hometowns. Nicole Jamrose sang

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Anybody else watching this show? These singers are WAY better than Bucky and Kellie from Idol! :P And you can vote from Canada - yay! :D
I didn't know you could vote outside the U.S. I think that's fantastic! As you can tell by now, yes, I'm watching it but I usually have to catch it in the repeat because there are too many other things on Tuesday nights. In fact, shame on me, I forgot to watch last night. I'll have to catch it on Saturday morning when they repeat it here next.

To me, it should be Chris Young. He's been my pick from the beginning (although I'm still afraid I've jinxed him by selecting him). I truly think he has the voice and songwriting talent as well as that "It" factor to entice the public. He makes my heart go "Yee Haw!"

I haven't been a fan of Nicole Jamrose but she keeps pulling through each week. I'm feeling a little guilty for not rooting for her since I just found out she's from my old neck of the woods. I even once had a job in her hometown. I feel like I should support a local grown girl but my vote still goes to Chris Young.

I'm still reeling from last year's disastrous season. I almost didn't tune in for Season Four. First, they booted host Nancy O'Dell and suspiciously replaced her with LeAnn Rimes. Then, we had a constant stream of guest hosts after poor Rimes went on and off the sick list.

I was all over Aussie Country Rocker Tamika Tyler when they made more out of a silly disagreement between contestants and booted her off. My second choice was Jason Meadows and in the end, the young girl, Erika Jo, won the contest despite being the second part of the 'feud' with Tamika.

Have they even mentioned Erika Jo this season? I know Jason Meadows was in the audience a few shows back. And, I'm sure glad David Foster was nicer to the "American Idol's" than he was to the "Nashville Star" contestants. I thought he was brutal!

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Courtesy of: NBC UNIVERSAL MEDIA VILLAGE

AMERICA CHOOSES ITS NEXT NASHVILLE STAR AND SUPERSTARS BIG & RICH RETURN FOR THE SEASON FINALE OF USA NETWORK'S 'NASHVILLE STAR'

Published: April 27, 2006

ACM Top New Male Vocalist Nominee Jason Aldean to Perform His Smash Hit Single 'Hicktown' With All 10 Nashville Star Contestants

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Nicole Jamrose, Casey Rivers and Chris Young Are Final 3 Contestants

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- April 27, 2006 -- NASHVILLE STAR, the nation's top-rated country music series, will crown its winner in the fourth season finale, which will feature a live opening performance by country superstars Big & Rich and a closing performance by ACM Top New Male Vocalist nominee Jason Aldean, in a 90-minute episode airing live on Tuesday, May 2 at 10PM / 9PM Central on USA Network.

"The competition this season has been fierce. Week after week, the voting has been the closest in history," said executive producer Jeff Boggs. "Whoever wins will have put up the fight of their life."

Big & Rich will join Cowboy Troy to perform "My Last Yeehaw" and also sit in as guest judges during the 90-minute episode in which America will choose its next Nashville Star from the three remaining finalists. To close out the season finale, Broken Bow Records' Jason Aldean will rock his smash hit single "Hicktown" with all ten contestants returning to join him for the final moments of season four.

"John and Big Kenny played such an integral role in our casting process this year and have been through this with us since the beginning," explains Libby Hansen, USA Network's vice president of alternative series & specials. "It feels like we are coming full circle by having them back to perform and judge on our final episode."

Last Tuesday's episode of NASHVILLE STAR (4/25/06) was the most-watched (2.6 million viewers) and highest rated (2.1 household rating) of the season. Season four is performing 7% above last year's Season three with an average 2.6 million viewers per regular season episode. Phone and internet voting has also reached record highs this season with Tuesday's episode bringing in 2.4 million votes cast, which is up over 36% from same episode last season.

Only three contestants remain vying for the title of NASHVILLE STAR. The next winner of will be awarded a Sony BMG Nashville recording contract, as well as a Chevy Silverado Truck and an appearance on the famous Grand Ole Opry:

Chris Young: Chris is a multi-talented 20 year-old with a flair for singing, songwriting and dancing. Chris considers himself an expert at Line Dancing and Hip-Hop. He is from Murfreesboro, TN and has a fan club of hundreds who follow him religiously across the country.

Nicole Jamrose: A 33 year-old mother of two from Schererville, IN, Nicole brings her folk- infused sound to the show. Nicole's Nashville Star auditions marks her one and only contention for any talent show title and was blown away to find out that she will be one of the ten finalists.

Casey Rivers: Casey is a native of Lindale, Texas and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Lindale's other NASHVILLE STAR alum, Miranda Lambert. Casey is 23 and claims he briefly dated Miranda in high school. He has already shared the stage with country music greats Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson.

Even runners-up come away with something most country music artists work years to achieve. "NASHVILLE STAR was like a ten-week audition in front of every record label VIP in Nashville and country music fans across the country," says season one runner-up and Sony Music recording artist Miranda Lambert.

NASHVILLE STAR is created by Reveille and executive produced by Ben Silverman ("The Biggest Loser," "The Office") and H.T. Owens ("The Restaurant," "30 Days"). Jeff Boggs (Late Show with David Letterman, Tom Green Show) will executive produce in association with Reveille again for the second year. The show is produced by Jon Small ("Garth Brooks Live From Central Park," "Billy Joel Live at Yankee Stadium") and his production company, Picture Vision, alongside co-executive producer Mark Koops ("The Restaurant," "Blow Out").

USA NETWORK is cable television's leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports and entertainment events, off-net television shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. The #1 basic cable network across the board in 1Q06, USA Network is seen in 90 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

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'Nashville Star'

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Chris Young

I said it before and now, I can officially say "Yee Haw!" for my boy . . . the new "Nashville Star" Chris Young! I'm so glad I didn't jinx him because he makes my heart go pitty pat! He is one tall talented drink of country Evian! Not only can this boy sang (rhymes with twang) but he's just plain ole purty! (translation . . . pretty with a twang)

I think my friends thought I was about to lick the television screen when he came out in that long black coat and cowboy hat . . . sorta like a countrified version of the "Matrix!" And, lo and behold, he IS the one! He reminds me a lot of a tall version of Brad Paisley but Chris Young has a style all his own. Can you tell I have a small crush on this guy? I knew you could!

I just can't wait to see what this Murfreesboro native brings to the Nashville music table. I fell in love once in Murfreesboro and I guess lightning can hit twice! Just kidding but he does stir this old girl's hormones just a tad. Now, make great music and make us proud! Thanks for making up for last season's disastrous results!

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  • 2 months later...

Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE

Nashville Star Returning For Fifth Season

NASHVILLE STAR, USA Network's original grassroots talent search to find America's next great country music star and the nation's top-rated country music program, will give another talented and deserving artist their big break when the show returns for its fifth season, it was announced today by Jeff Wachtel, USA's executive vice president of original programming.

"NASHVILLE STAR's continued success is a true team effort," explains Wachtel. "It's the best place on TV to find the best new talent in country music. We're delighted to be bringing it back for a fifth season."

"Nashville Star is the preeminent television brand in country music today and we are thrilled to be making season five for our great partners at USA Network," added Executive Producer Ben Silverman. "Our multi-talented performers are the best entertainment around!"

Once again, NASHVILLE STAR will be holding open auditions in several towns across America. Official dates and locations will be announced at http://www.usanetwork.com/nashvillestar/ on August 1.

How it works:

1. Those auditioning will have one minute to perform a song off an approved song list.

2. A select few of the most talented will be invited back the next day for a chance to sing either two (2) cover songs from the approved song list or one (1) song off the list and one (1) original song.

3. The top contestants then proceed to one of two regional competitions to again audition for a chance to appear on the show.

The auditions are open to women and men, ages 18 and over (as of January 1, 2007), who think they have what it takes to become the next NASHVILLE STAR. Updated information on auditions including cities, locations and times, song lists and applications can be found on http://www.usanetwork.com/nashvillestar/.

As in the past, the winner of this season's NASHVILLE STAR will receive a major music recording contract with a top-level record label.

The first four seasons of the series have launched the careers of promising artists including Buddy Jewell, Miranda Lambert and Erika Jo, and the winner of NASHVILLE STAR 2006 Chris Young whose first single, "Drinkin' Me Lonely" on RCA Records can currently be heard on the radio and his self titled album will be in stores September 26, 2006. Jewell debuted his self- titled CD at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and was eventually certified gold by the RIAA. Runner-up Miranda Lambert became a household name when her "Kerosene" became the highest-selling debut album of 2005. Erika Jo landed at No. 5 on the same chart with her self-titled debut CD and at No. 27 on the Hot 200 Album Chart (all genres), outselling Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich, Tim McGraw and Shania Twain, among others.

NASHVILLE STAR is currently on tour performing a series of concerts across the country. Featured on the 2006 NASHVILLE STAR Tour are this season's final four contestants - Nicole Jamrose, Matt Mason, Casey Rivers and Chris Young - along with John Bohlinger and the NASHVILLE STAR Band. Check out this year's stops at http://www.usanetwork.com/series/nashville...lestartour.html.

Posted by Joe Reality on July 14, 2006 at 12:15 AM

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Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE

Nashville Star 5 Holding Auditions

NASHVILLE STAR, USA Network's original grassroots talent search to find America's next great country music star and the nation's top-rated country music program, will return for its fifth season with auditions being held August 31-October 12 nationwide.

For its fifth season premiere in January 2007, NASHVILLE STAR will become the longest-running competition series on cable television. Its national casting tour will begin in Atlanta on August 31 and continue to twelve other cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York, Dallas and of course, Nashville.

Casting tour schedule:

Aug 31 Atlanta, Georgia at Wild Bill's (2075 Market Street)

Aug 31 Kansas City, Missouri at Beaumont Club (4050 Pennsylvania Avenue)

Sept 6 Indianapolis, Indiana at 8 Seconds Saloon (111 N. Lynhurst Drive)

Sept 7 Los Angeles, California at Saddle Ranch (Universal City Walk)

Sept 14 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at Bricktown Brewery (1 N Oklahoma Avenue)

Sept 14 Chicago, Illinois at Joe's Bar (940 W. Weed Street)

Sept 21 Las Vegas, Nevada at Sunset Station (1301 W. Sunset Road)

Sept 21 Tampa Bay, Florida at Howl At The Moon (615 Channelside Drive)

Sept 27 Albuquerque, New Mexico at Santa Ana Star Casino (54 Jemez Dam Road)

Sept 28 New York, NY at Rodeo Bar (375 3rd Avenue)

Oct 5 Charlotte, North Carolina at Midtown Sundries (18665 Harborside Drive in Cornelius)

Oct 5 Dallas, Texas at Billy Bob's (2520 Rodeo Plaza in Fort Worth)

Oct 12 Nashville, Tennessee at Wildhorse Saloon (120 2nd Avenue)

How it works:

1. Those auditioning will have one minute to perform a song off an approved song list.

2. A select few of the most talented will be invited back the next day for a chance to sing either two (2) cover songs from the approved song list or one (1) song off the list and one (1) original song.

3. The top contestants then proceed to one of two regional competitions to again audition for a chance to appear on the show.

The auditions are open to women and men, ages 18 and over (as of January 1, 2007), who think they have what it takes to become the next NASHVILLE STAR. Updated information on auditions including cities, locations and times, song lists, applications, as well as how to audition if you can't make it to an open call, can be found on http://www.usanetwork.com/nashvillestar/.

As in the past, the winner of this season's NASHVILLE STAR will receive a major music recording contract with a top-level record label.

In its previous four seasons, the careers of promising artists including Lambert, Buddy Jewel, Erika Jo and Season Four winner Chris Young have been launched. Jewel debuted his self-titled CD at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and was eventually certified gold by the RIAA. Runner-up Lambert became a household name when her Kerosene became the highest-selling debut album of 2005. Young, the most recent winner, will release his first CD on October 3; his self-written first single "Drinkin' Me Lonely," which he performed on NASHVILLE STAR, recently debuted at country radio.

NASHVILLE STAR is created by Reveille and executive produced by Ben Silverman ("The Biggest Loser," "The Office") and H.T. Owens ("The Restaurant," "30 Days"). Jeff Boggs will executive produce in association with Reveille. The show is produced by Jon Small ("Garth Brooks Live From Central Park," "Billy Joel Live at Yankee Stadium") and his production company, Picture Vision, alongside co-executive producer Mark Koops ("The Restaurant," "Blow Out").

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****NASHVILLE STAR SEASON 5****


Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE

Jewel To Host Nashville Star 5


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NASHVILLE STAR, USA Network's original grassroots talent search to find America's next great country music star and the nation's top-rated country music program, will return on its new night, Thursday, January 11 from 10-11pm ET/9-10pm CT with Grammy-nominated host Jewel. Joining Jewel for the record-breaking fifth season will be season four co-host RAYBAW/Warner Bros. Record's Cowboy Troy. The announcement was made today by Jeff Wachtel, executive vice president, original programming, USA Network.

Jewel succeeds five-time Grammy Award-winning superstar Wynonna Judd, who co-hosted season four with Cowboy Troy, as host for season five.

"Jewel brings a new and exciting dynamic to NASHVILLE STAR for its fifth season," said Wachtel. "Her success and her understanding of the craft as both a singer and songwriter will be invaluable to the aspiring singers and insightful to the viewers. With her fresh perspective and Cowboy Troy's return, the two should make a phenomenal hosting team!"

"I grew up on a ranch in Alaska, and my favorite memories are of sitting around a camp fire with my father and listening to the songs he wrote and sang. It was pure country music, and it has made me a sincere fan of country music ever since," said Jewel. "I am so excited to be part of this show, and for the chance to watch the contestants compete in this uniquely American artform."

"Jewel is one of the most extraordinary artists in the music industry, and we are thrilled that she will participate as the host of NASHVILLE STAR for its fifth season," said H.T. Owens, executive vice president, creative affairs, Reveille, which produces the nation's top-rated country music program. "As an acclaimed singer, songwriter, poet and actress, Jewel will help us find another talented and deserving artist to bring to the country music scene."

From the remote tundra of her Alaskan youth to the triumph of international stardom, Jewel has traveled a singular road as an acclaimed singer, songwriter, poet, actress and painter. The three-time Grammy nominee, hailed by The Times of London as "the most sparkling female singer-songwriter since Joni Mitchel," continues to explore new musical avenues from the simplicity of acoustic-driven folk to the embrace of rock, pop, country, blues, jazz and classical influences. To date, Jewel has sold over 27 million albums worldwide, enjoying career longevity rare among her generation of artists. Jewel's personal odyssey, partly chronicled on her twelve-times RIAA platinum debut album Pieces of You comes to full flower with her most recent Atlantic Records CD, Goodbye Alice in Wonderland.

The Hick-Hop originator, Cowboy Troy's release Loco Motive debuted at #2 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and at #15 on Billboard's Hot 200 chart. Billed as the world's only six-foot-five black rapping cowboy, Cowboy Troy, burst onto the country music fan's consciousness with the multi-lingual breakdown in the middle of "Rollin' (The Ballad of Big & Rich)", the opening track to platinum-selling labelmates Big & Rich's 2004 release Horse of A Different Color. The University of Texas grad continues to electrify crowds on the road as he tours with Big & Rich.

For its fifth season premiere in January 2007, NASHVILLE STAR will become the longest-running competition series on cable television. Its national casting tour began on August 31 in Atlanta and continued to twelve other cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York, Dallas, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Tampa Bay, Albuquerque, Charlotte and of course, Nashville.

The auditions are open to women and men, ages 18 and over (as of January 1, 2007), who think they have what it takes to become the next NASHVILLE STAR. Updated information on auditions including cities, locations and times, song lists, applications, as well as how to audition if you can't make it to an open call, can be found on http://www.usanetwork.com/nashvillestar/ .

As in the past, the winner of this season's NASHVILLE STAR will receive a major music recording contract with a top-level record label.

In its previous four seasons, the careers of promising artists including Miranda Lambert, Buddy Jewel, Erika Jo and Season Four winner Chris Young have been launched. Jewel debuted his self-titled CD at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and was eventually certified gold by the RIAA. Runner-up Lambert became a household name when her Kerosene became the highest-selling debut album of 2005. Young, the most recent winner, will release his first CD on October 3; his self-written first single "Drinkin' Me Lonely," which he performed on NASHVILLE STAR, recently debuted at country radio.

NASHVILLE STAR will continue to be broadcast live from the BellSouth Acuff Theatre in Nashville. SONIC, America's Drive-In (NASDAQ/GS: SONC), the nation's largest drive-in restaurant chain, is the exclusive presenting partner of the fifth season of NASHVILLE STAR.

NASHVILLE STAR is created by Reveille and executive produced by Ben Silverman ("The Biggest Loser," "The Office") and H.T. Owens ("The Restaurant," "30 Days"). Jeff Boggs will executive produce in association with Reveille. The show is produced by Jon Small ("Garth Brooks Live From Central Park," "Billy Joel Live at Yankee Stadium") and his production company, Picture Vision, alongside co-executive producer Mark Koops ("The Restaurant," "Blow Out").

Posted by Joe Reality on September 27, 2006 at 07:24 PM
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Courtesy of: REALITY TV MAGAZINE

Randy Owen & Blake Shelton Named As Judges For Nashville Star 5

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Over 20,000 singers auditioned nationwide over the past few months and thousands more submitted via tape for USA's hit talent search NASHVILLE STAR. As the selection narrows to find the final 10 that will be part of the show's fifth season premiere on Thursday, January 11 (10pm/9 Central), Grammy Award winner Randy Owen and country star Blake Shelton have joined seasons three and four judge Anastasia Brown in the show's panel of judges. The announcement was made today by Jeff Wachtel, executive vice president, original programming, USA Network.

"We've created the perfect panel of judges for season five," says Wachtel. "Anastasia brings continuity from the previous seasons and is a hot industry insider who isn't afraid to speak her mind. Blake is a new, young, smart country voice who has had great success in a short period of time. And of course Randy is country royalty, bringing knowledge and experience in his own unique way."

As the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and principle songwriter, Randy Owen led the famed super group Alabama from humble beginnings playing for tips in coastal North Carolina bars to the band's 2005 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. With a career that to date has resulted in 21 gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums and 42 number one singles, Alabama has received over 150 industry awards including 8 country music "Entertainer of the Year" honors, 2 Grammys, 2 People's Choice Awards and their very own star on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame." They were named the "Artist of the Decade" by the Academy of Country Music in 1989 and "Country Group of the Century" by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1999. They have racked up sales of over 58 million records worldwide, making them the ninth biggest selling group of all time, ahead of such rock greats as Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Queen, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and The Who. The band recently released Alabama - Songs of Inspiration which garnered a record 41,000 orders in a single hour on shopping giant QVC.

Country star Blake Shelton, whose debut single "Austin" occupied the top of the charts for five straight weeks, set the stage for a long and successful career. Since "Austin," Blake has been a mainstay on country radio and video outlets with a number of number one singles including "The Baby" and "Some Beach." Along with this success, he has sold over 2 million records and has set recording breaking concert tours with Toby Keith and Rascal Flatts, to name a few. Currently gearing up for the release of his fourth album on Warner Bros. Records, Shelton's lead off single and video "Don't Make Me" is currently moving up the charts. Additionally, Shelton has received numerous CMA and ACM nominations and was named Top New Male Artist by Billboard Magazine and Breakthrough Artist of the Year by R&R.

A leading music industry expert, Anastasia Brown started her music career as Miles Copeland's partner in spearheading the operations for Firstars Nashville where she discovered, developed and secured major label record deals, while representing country music star Keith Urban. She also worked with artists ranging from Sting and Peter Frampton, to John Berry and Junior Brown. After making her mark in Nashville, Brown expanded her horizons to Hollywood and is now partnered with media entrepreneur & movie producer Eric Geadelmann in 821 Entertainment Group, a media, entertainment and technology holding company that she serves as President of with divisions in motion picture development & production, recorded music, publishing and supervisory services and digital distribution.

For its fifth season premiere in January 2007, NASHVILLE STAR will become the longest-running competition series on cable television. As previously announced, Jewel will serve as host and Cowboy Troy as co-host.

The first four seasons of the series have launched the careers of promising artists including Chris Young, Buddy Jewell, Miranda Lambert and Erika Jo. Jewell debuted his self-titled CD at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, which was eventually certified gold by the RIAA. Runner-up Miranda Lambert became a household name when her "Kerosene" became the highest-selling debut album of 2005 and then went on to be certified gold as well. Erika Jo landed at No. 5 on the same chart with her self-titled debut CD and at No. 27 on the Hot 200 Album Chart (all genres). Most recently, Chris Young debuted his self-entitled CD at #3 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, making him the top selling debut male artist of 2006.

NASHVILLE STAR will continue to be broadcast live from the Acuff Theatre in Nashville. SONIC, America's Drive-In (NASDAQ/GS: SONC), the nation's largest drive-in restaurant chain, is the exclusive presenting partner of the fifth season of NASHVILLE STAR.

Posted by Joe Reality on November 01, 2006 at 08:06 PM

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