USA Network's Nashville Star Narrows Thousands of Contestants to Ten Finalists for Third Season

Country Music Talent Search Premieres Tuesday, March 1, on USA at

10:00 PM ET/PT

Feb 04, 2005, 00:00 ET from USA Network

    NEW YORK, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- All ten finalists have been named for the
 third season of USA Network's Nashville Star, a grassroots nationwide talent
 search for the next country music superstar, premiering Tuesday, March 1, from
 10:00 - 11:00 PM (ET/PT) on USA Network.
     During the nine-week series, the finalists will compete for the grand
 prize--a recording contract with Universal South Records.  While all
 contestants must be at least 18, there is no upper age limit, opening the
 competition to talented adults pursuing their dreams at any age.
     "Going through the process of screening thousands upon thousands of
 performers, the quality of untapped talent continues to amaze me," said
 Nashville Star executive producer Jeff Boggs.  "The wonder of this show is
 that it works.  In this ocean of hopefuls, the talent was so strong that we
 had a tough time getting it down to only ten.  This will be our best season
     And the ten multi-talented contenders are:
     Justin David, 30, from Marshfield, MO.  David learned to play mandolin at
 the age of four, and he wields the fiddle and guitar with the same virtuosity.
     Jody Evans, 28, from Donaldson, AR.  Evans is a police officer by day,
 rockabilly singer by night.  He grew up on the music of Elvis Presley and
 Buddy Holly.
     Jenny Farrell, 35, from Albuquerque, NM.  Farrell is a singer/songwriter
 who toured with Mustang Sally in the late '90s, opening shows for country
 artists including George Jones.
     Erika Jo Heriges, 18, from Angleton, TX.  This high school senior has been
 performing with bands for over thirteen years.
     Christy McDonald, 29, from Tabor City, NC.  By day, McDonald is the
 receptionist at the Warner Bros. Nashville office.  In her off time she is a
 performer, demo singer and songwriter.
     Jason Meadows, 33, from Calera, OK.  Meadows grew up on a farm in Calera,
 and his music reflects the traditional influences of Merle Haggard, George
 Strait and Hank Williams, Jr.
     Josh Owen, 19, from Brownsboro, TX.  This guitar slinger has been singing
 since he was three.  He has performed on the "The Arsenio Hall Show," "The
 Maury Povich Show" and "Star Search," where he was a finalist at age five.
     Casey Simpson, 19, from Cerritos, CA.  Simpson recorded a song for the
 2002 "Rugrats" Christmas movie, as the voice of the wooden grandma.  She
 performs throughout southern California and often sings the National Anthem at
 the Staples Center before Lakers, Kings and Sparks games.
     Tamika Tyler, 33, from Coffs Harbour, Australia.  Tyler had a successful
 singing career in her native Australia before starting a family and moving to
 a Colorado ranch with her husband, a rocket scientist, and their son.
     Jayron Weaver, 22, from Dallas, GA.  Jayron began singing in church as a
 child, and he is currently serving as music minister at a local church. He
 also works full-time at a warehouse while attending college classes.
     Nashville Star will again air live from Nashville's BellSouth Acuff
 Theatre for eight weeks following the premiere.  The show is hosted by LeAnn
 Rimes.  The third season judging panel includes rock band Poison front man
 Bret Michaels, country hitmaker Phil Vassar and industry executive/artist
 manager Anastasia Brown.  Comedian Cledus T. Judd joins the show as special
     Nashville Star is created by Reveille and executive produced by Ben
 Silverman ("The Restaurant," "Coupling") and H.T. Owens ("The Restaurant,"
 "Blow Out").  Jeff Boggs serves as executive producer in association with
 Reveille.  The show is produced by Jon Small ("Garth Brooks Live From Central
 Park," "Billy Joel Live at Yankee Stadium") and his production company,
 Picture Vision.
     Universal South Records is a joint venture between highly respected music
 executives Tim DuBois and Tony Brown and Universal Motown Records Group in New
 York, which is part of the Universal Music Group.  The label's roster
 includes:  Joe Nichols, Bering Strait, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Katrina Elam,
 Matt Jenkins, Lee Roy Parnell, Matthew West, Amanda Wilkinson, Holly Williams
 and Marty Stuart.
     Universal Music Group is the world's largest music company with wholly
 owned record operations or licensees in 71 countries. Its businesses also
 include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry's largest global
 music publishing operations.
     Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company,
 Deutsche Grammophon, DreamWorks Records, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island
 Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville,
 Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown
 Records Group, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels
 owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The
 Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the
 industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music
 Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the
 U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies
     Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and
 communications company.
     REVEILLE develops, produces and distributes new and non-traditional
 programming formats for television and motion pictures across a variety of
 genres, including comedy, drama, game, and reality for American and
 international markets. In addition to selling television formats for
 independent producers such as NBC Universal Television Studios (USA Network,
 Sci Fi Channel), BBC Worldwide, Renegade and Princess Productions, Reveille
 sells its own produced program formats such as "The Restaurant" (NBC), "Blow
 Out" (Bravo) and "30 Days" (FX). Reveille also distributed the internationally
 renowned, award-winning "911" documentary and is a world leader in creating
 integrated marketing opportunities for leading advertisers, developing
 alternative financing paradigms and selling and distributing television
 formats in markets worldwide.
     Reveille has produced projects such as "The Restaurant," "The Biggest
 Loser" and coming in 2005, "The Office" for NBC. Cable projects include "Blow
 Out" for Bravo, "The Club" on Spike, USA Network's "Nashville Star" and the
 Morgan Spurlock project "30 Days" for FX Networks.
     USA Network is cable television's leading provider of original series and
 feature movies, sports events, off-net television shows, and blockbuster
 theatrical films. USA Network is seen in over 88 million U.S. homes. The USA
 Network Web site is located at
     USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC
 Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the
 development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information
 to a global audience.