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USA reveals 'Nashville Star 4' finalists, premiere bumped to March 14

By Reality TV World staff, 02/02/2006 

USA Network has announced the identities of the ten finalists who will compete in its upcoming fourth edition of Nashville Star, the American Idol-like reality music competition that searches for America's next big country music star.

Originally scheduled to premiere on March 7, Nashville Star 4 will now debut a week later on Tuesday, March 14 at 10PM ET/PT. As previously announced, Nashivlle Star 4 will be hosted by Wynonna Judd and Cowboy Troy, who will replace Nashville Star 3 host LeAnn Rimes (and who was herself a replacement for original Nashville Star host Nancy O'Dell.)

"This year's finalists probably represent the highest level of overall talent we've ever seen on the show. With great voices and unique personalities, we have ten real contenders to be America’s next Nashville Star," Jeff Wachtel, USA's Executive Vice President of Original Programming, stated in the network's announcement.

Nashville Star 4's nationwide tryouts visited eighteen cities featured auditions from nearly twice as many singers as last year's competition.

The ten aspiring country music stars who will be competing on Nashville Star 4 are:

• Matt Mason, a 20-year-old from Pleasantville, IN. Described by USA as "such a 'country boy' he doesn't even have email," Matt’s first performance was at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge in Nashville and was attended by the legendary Hank Williams, Jr.

• Monique LeCompte, a 23-year-old from Grand Terrace, CA. Billed by USA as a "power vocalist," Monique was raised by her recently deceased grandparents and works three jobs while attempting to still pursue her country music superstar dreams.

• Jared Ashley, a Hobbs, NM native who joined the US Navy right out of high school and served two tours in the Persian Gulf. Jared has spent six years looking for his big break and says he is ready to rival Dierks Bentley for most frat houses played in America.

• Shy Blakeman, a 25 year-old from Laramie, WY who was shot in the face in a 2002 attempted car jacking. Described by USA as a "high-energy, southern-rock-infused" singer, Shy is "bent on changing the boundaries of country music."

• Jewels Hanson, a 31-year-old from Freemont, CA. Proclaiming herself "The Female Travis Tritt," Jewels quit her high-paying corporate job for a shot at Nashville fame and fortune and says she never wants to work a desk job again.

• Chris Young, a 20-year-old from Murfreesboro, TN. Described by USA as having "a flair for singing, song-writing and dancing," Chriss considers himself an expert at line dancing and hip-hop and is said to have a fan club of "hundreds" who "follow him religiously across the country."

• Nicole Jamrose, a 33-year-old mother of two from Schererville, IN. Nicole's Nashville Star audition was the first and only time she competed for any talent show title and was blown away to find out that she will be one of the ten finalists.

• Kristen McNamara, a 20-year-old from Napa Valley, CA. Billed by USA as "a spirited personality" with "a heart-tugging life story" and a powerful voice, Kristen has a US Army boyfriend who is awaiting deployment to Iraq and plans on wearing a yellow ribbon in every Nashville Star episode.

• Casey Rivers, a 23-year-old from Lindale, TX. Casey hopes to follow in the footsteps of Lindale's other Nashville Star finalist -- first season singer Miranda Lambert, who he claims to have briefly dated during high school. Casey also claims to have "shared the stage" with country music greats Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson.

• Melanie Torres, a 28-year-old from Terries, NM. Described by USA as having a "voice to kill," Melanie is a bilingual English/Spanish speaker and former Miss Albuquerque 2000.

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