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USA's 'Nashville Star' begins filming, first episode to premiere Saturday, March 8th


By Wade Paulsen, 03/07/2003 

Back in October, we reported that the USA Network was casting for a new reality/talent show, sort of a country-and-western hybrid between The Real World and American Idol. Today, the Associated Press reports that the performers-houseguests moved into their new lodgings, on Music Row in Nashville, on Wednesday. For the next nine weeks, the twelve contestants will be voted out of the house until only one is left; the winner may then become a Nashville Star.

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The 12 hopefuls range in age from 19 to 41. For more information on the twelve finalists, click here. Each week, USA will air an episode of Nashville Star Saturday night at 9 PM EST, consisting of real-life highlights of the week, which will then culminate in performances by the contestants. At the end of the show, the phone lines and Internet poll will be opened for voting, but only for two hours, and the loser will have to leave immediately. The ultimate winner will win a one-CD contract from Sony Records, with country star Clint Black producing the sessions.

Like American Idol, the show will have a host and judges. Nancy O'Dell from Access Hollywood handles the hosting chores. The judges will be Sony consultant Tracy Gershon, music journalist Robert K. Oermann, and singer-songwriter Charlie Robison (whose wife Emily is a member of the Dixie Chicks). For more information on the judges, click here.

One of the show's creators contrasted Nashville Star to other reality shows thusly: "No one is eating bugs or running naked or getting screamed at. We're celebrating a truly American art form." Apparently he things the lack of bug-eating naked screamers is a good thing. We're not entirely sure why.

In the same article, a tame Syracuse University professor named Robert Thompson, who teaches in the intellectually-challenging field of media and popular culture studies, states that Nashville Star is a gamble because of the number of reality and talent shows in the pipeline. We have news for Mr. Thompson: EVERY new show is a gamble. This concept may not be welcome in the ivory towers of academia, where some things such as tuition hikes are certain, but that's the way it goes.









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