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Nashville Star is a television program broadcast on the USA Network in the United States and CMT Canada in Canada. It is similar to American Idol, in that performers must sing to impress both celebrity judges and the public via call-in votes. Unlike American Idol, however, the performances are limited to country music. Whereas American Idol generally elevates people off the street to stardom, Nashville Star finalists are usually already knee-deep in the country music industry, but may not have attained a record deal on a major label.
Finalists live together for the entire run of the show. During the first two seasons, the finalists lived in a large house near Nashville's Music Row. Beginning with the 2005 season, finalists shared a large suite at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center. Excerpts of the finalists' interaction with each other in their living environment are regularly edited into the show.
The first winner of Nashville Star, in the spring of 2003, was Buddy Jewell On the strength of his win, Jewell's self-titled album earned him a gold record.
In 2004, the second winner was 33-year-old Brad Cotter, who enjoyed very limited success after his win. Cotter was a fan-favorite from start to finish in Season 2. He was one of ten finalists eliminated by the judges on the first episode, but was allowed back into the competition after he was selected by viewers to be the one of those ten saved. The format was changed after the 2004 season and that element of the competition was eliminated.
The 2005 winner was 18-year-old Erika Jo, the first female and the youngest finalist to win. Her victory was watched by the show's largest-ever audience, when over 3 million people tuned in to see the April 26 finale. It marked the first time the show ranked among the top ten cable shows of the week.
The winner of Nashville Star receives a record contract (through Sony Music in Seasons 1 & 2, Universal South Records in Season 3), a performance on the Grand Ole Opry, and a Chevrolet pickup truck. Runners-up, such as George Canyon (2nd Place, Season 2) and Miranda Lambert (3rd Place, Season 1), are often offered contracts with labels not affiliated with the show.
In 2005, the show moved from Saturday night to a more desirable primetime slot on Tuesday nights. In doing so, producer-host Nancy O'Dell made the choice to leave the show due to her hosting commitments at Access Hollywood, which is taped in Los Angeles. Country superstar LeAnn Rimes was hired as the host for Season 3, but missed two episodes late in the season due to a broken blood vessel in her vocal cords.
A single season of the show consists of eight hour-long episodes and one 90-minute finale. It is produced by Reveille Productions and originates live (except for each season's premiere episode, which is taped) from the BellSouth Acuff Theatre at the Gaylord Opryland complex in Nashville, Tennessee. Audience members are admitted free of charge on an invitation and standby basis. The competition takes place over the months of March and April.
Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
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LeAnn Rimes.... Host
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