USA Network Names Nashville Star Finalists
Thursday February 13, 5:26 pm ET
Country Music Talent Search Premieres Saturday March 8 on USA at 9:00 PM ET/PT
NEW YORK, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The judges have spoken, and USA Network is proud to announce the twelve finalists for Nashville Star, a grassroots nationwide talent search for the next country music superstar premiering Saturday, March 8 at 9:00 PM (ET/PT) on USA Network. The finalists will compete for a recording contract with Sony Music Nashville over the course of the live nine-week series. They will live together in a fully-wired Nashville house where cameras will record their day in and day out quest to become the next great country music sensation.
The twelve lucky contenders include:
Anne Louise Blythe -- A 24-year-old waitress from San Lorenzo, CA, Anne currently waits tables in Nashville while chasing her dream of stardom. Her past experience includes performing at theme parks across the country.
Amy Chappell -- A 27-year-old singer/songwriter from Hutchinson, KS, Amy lives in Nashville and plays in small venues around town. She has a degree in music therapy and currently works as an Outreach Advocate for people with mental illness and substance abuse problems. She cites other female singer/songwriters including the Indigo Girls and Lucinda Williams as her influences.
Jamey Garner -- Jamey makes his living as a performer in New York City. The 32-year-old native from Chester, IL has been performing all his life and says he is heavily influenced by Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Greg Allman and harmonica ace Tim Beattie.
Brandi Gibson -- This 21-year-old emergency dispatch operator hails from Arlington, KY. She loves the blues and the honky-tonk sounds of the 1970s.
Travis Howard -- Raised in Chalybeate Springs, GA, "under the iron fist of the gospel," this 32-year-old singer/songwriter now lives in Los Angeles, where he is part of the local country music scene. He cites country legends Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Buck Owens as his influences.
Buddy Jewell -- This 41-year-old native of Osceola, AR, now lives in Antioch, TN, just outside Nashville, and makes his living singing demos for songwriters. The proud father of three won the Male Vocalist category two times in the televised talent competition, Star Search in 1993.
Kristen Kissling -- A 22-year-old preschool teacher in Austin, TX, Kristen grew up in Topeka, KS. She sings a contemporary, pop-infused brand of country.
Miranda Lambert -- This 19-year old singer/songwriter lives in Lindale, TX, where she was raised. She has already developed quite a following in the Dallas area, where she has been touring with her band.
John Arthur Martinez -- This 41-year old father of four hails from Marble Falls, TX, near Austin, where he grew up and chose to raise his family. He owns a small independent record label and plays traditional country music, often singing portions of country classics in Spanish.
Brandon Silveira -- This 24-year-old native of Hanford, CA, spends his days working on a farm, and his evenings writing honky-tonk songs. His influences are as diverse as the Judds and Sublime.
Tasha Valentine -- A 21-year-old native of Albuquerque, NM, Tasha currently resides in Phoenix, AZ. She is drawn to the style of the early female honky-tonkers, and she has worked as a Patsy Cline impersonator. She wears vintage clothing, and her trademark is a huge flower above her right ear.
Prentiss Varnon -- This 22-year-old cowboy from Uvalde, TX, favors the traditional, straightforward style of George Strait. He majored in Ranch and Farm Management at Southwest Texas Junior College and currently works at his family's business, Cody's Hat Shop, and as a part-time car salesman.
Finalists were chosen from over 8,000 contestants after 48 local competitions held nationwide, and five semi-final regional rounds. The show will air live for eight weeks following the premiere. Judges are Columbia/Lucky Dog recording artist Charlie Robison, renowned country music journalist Robert K. Oermann and Sony Music A&R/marketing consultant Tracy Gershon. The grand prizewinner will receive a recording contract from Sony Music Nashville, and his or her CD will be produced by country music artist Clint Black.
Nashville Star is created and produced by Reveille, run by Ben Silverman. George Verschoor (Real World, Murder in Small Town X) and his production company, Hoosick Falls Productions, is executive producing in association with Reveille.
Reveille, a joint venture between Ben Silverman and Universal Television Group, develops, produces and distributes new and non-traditional programming formats for television and motion pictures across a variety of genres, including comedy, drama, game, and reality. In Television, Reveille develops projects for all of the broadcast and cable networks, including such current projects as, The Restaurant, Adrenaline X and Coupling for NBC and Nashville Star on USA Network. Reveille also identifies integrated marketing opportunities for leading advertisers and develops alternative financing for films and television programs.
USA Network is cable television's leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports events, off-net television shows and blockbuster theatrical films. USA Network is available in 81% of all U.S. homes and is seen in nearly 87 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at http://www.usanetwork.com.
USA Network is a program service of Universal Television Networks, part of the Universal Television Group, a division of Vivendi Universal Entertainment (VUE) (http://www.universalstudios.com), the U.S.-based film, television and recreation entity of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.