New 'American Idol'-like reality show searching for gay country music superstar
By Reality TV World staff, 07/29/2003
Rolling Stone reports that Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer Larry Dvoskin is conducting the search for America's first openly gay country music star -- and he plans to air a reality TV series about it.
The multi-platinum-selling songwriter and producer -- who has worked with Ricky Martin, David Bowie, Brandy, Fischerspooner, the Beach Boys, Medeski Martin and Wood, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Cheap Trick -- is beginning open auditions in New York City on August 7, with auditions in other cities to follow.
"I'm always looking to do exciting things," says Dvoskin, who is gay himself. Dvoskin, who has been making the rounds at radio stations across the country to announce the project, says "it's rare that you can do something socially good . . .[that] is entertaining and fun." "It takes just one person coming alone, doing something different for the doors to open." Along with the musical aspect of the project, Dvoskin plans to have the TV show explore the struggles and lives of the contestants in their quest to become America's first openly gay country star. "It's really about opening the door for an entire generation of people," he says. "Just judge us for our talent and not for any other labels that you put on us."
Finalists will be encouraged to perform their original material; however, in the absence of pre-penned songs, contestants will be provided with songs to cover. While the show is still in its early stages, Dvoskin has enlisted the help of the Emmy Awards and Academy Awards director/producer Jeff Margolis, who just finished serving as Executive Producer of NBC's "Fame" (and based on this statement from NBC President Jeff Zucker, Margolis isn't likely to be busy working on "Fame 2" anytime soon.)