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'Nashville Star 4' to premiere March 7, be hosted by Wynonna Judd and Cowboy Troy


By Reality TV World staff, 12/06/2005 

USA Network has announced the fourth edition of its Nashville Star reality talent competition will premiere Tuesday, March 7 at 10PM ET/PT and be hosted by Wynonna Judd and Cowboy Troy. The duo will replace LeAnn Rimes, who had hosted last year's Nashville Star 3 edition.

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"We're thrilled to have an artist of Wynonna's stature, talent and pure-star quality, join this season's Nashville Star. She's a legitimate icon in both the country world and our popular culture," Jeff Wachtel, USA's Executive Vice President of Original Programming, stated in the network's announcement. "By pairing Wynonna with someone as artistically groundbreaking as the MusikMafia's Cowboy Troy, we're truly taking the franchise to the next level."

"This is a real coup," Nashville Star executive producer H.T. Owens told the Associated Press. "With Wynonna and Troy it gives us a bigger star quotient. It adds excitement to the show."

Having sold nearly 30 million albums as a solo artist and member of The Judds mother/daughter duo, Judd says she's looking forward to the chance to mentor some younger artists. "I'm at a stage in my career where I know I have something to offer," Judd told The AP. "I've been on the road half of my life. I love the idea of being able to share this wisdom." "I really want to be able to plant some seeds and give them hope," she said. "I want to know who they are and what drives them and what their passion is and help bring that out."

In addition to Rimes, third season judge Bret Michaels will not be returning for Nashville Star 4. Instead, returning Nashville Star 3 judges Phil Vassar and Anastasia Brown will be joined by a "special celebrity guest judge" who will rotate during each week of the show's eight-week run.

"We want to bring a fresh perspective to each episode through the judging table," Owens explained. "Expect to see big names in entertainment filling our panel this season, and more importantly, helping find and bring untapped country music talent, that otherwise wouldn't be heard, to the American people.

The network did not give any reason for replacing Rimes, who had missed two of last season's shows due to illness. Rimes had joined the show as part of its third season "young," "fun," and "hipper" revamp that had seen the departure of original Nashville Star host Nancy O'Dell.

However if Judd has her way, it sounds like the show might be at least partially returning (the inclusion of Cowboy Troy notwithstanding) to its more traditional "throwback" roots. "I'd love to be part of that - of finding a woman who can play that guitar and sing her butt off and doesn't need designer dresses and a hair and makeup team," Judd told The AP. "That would thrill me."

(Photo credit USA)


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