May 01, 2006 11:01 PM by Joe Blackmon
Nashville Star, the nation’s top-rated country music series, will crown its winner in the fourth season finale, which will feature a live opening performance by country superstars Big & Rich and a closing performance by ACM Top New Male Vocalist nominee Jason Aldean, in a 90-minute episode airing live on Tuesday, May 2 at 10PM / 9PM Central on USA Network.
"The competition this season has been fierce. Week after week, the voting has been the closest in history," said executive producer Jeff Boggs. "Whoever wins will have put up the fight of their life."
Big & Rich will join Cowboy Troy to perform "My Last Yeehaw" and also sit in as guest judges during the 90-minute episode in which America will choose its next Nashville Star from the three remaining finalists. To close out the season finale, Broken Bow Records’ Jason Aldean will rock his smash hit single "Hicktown" with all ten contestants returning to join him for the final moments of season four.
"John and Big Kenny played such an integral role in our casting process this year and have been through this with us since the beginning," explains Libby Hansen, USA Network’s vice president of alternative series & specials. "It feels like we are coming full circle by having them back to perform and judge on our final episode."
Last Tuesday’s episode of NASHVILLE STAR (4/25/06) was the most-watched (2.6 million viewers) and highest rated (2.1 household rating) of the season. Season four is performing 7% above last year’s Season three with an average 2.6 million viewers per regular season episode. Phone and internet voting has also reached record highs this season with Tuesday’s episode bringing in 2.4 million votes cast, which is up over 36% from same episode last season.
Only three contestants remain vying for the title of NASHVILLE STAR. The next winner of will be awarded a Sony BMG Nashville recording contract, as well as a Chevy Silverado Truck and an appearance on the famous Grand Ole Opry.
Chris Young: Chris is a multi-talented 20 year-old with a flair for singing, songwriting and dancing. Chris considers himself an expert at Line Dancing and Hip-Hop. He is from Murfreesboro, TN and has 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 brings her folk- infused sound to the show. Nicole’s Nashville Star auditions marks her one and only contention for any talent show title and was blown away to find out that she will be one of the ten finalists.
Casey Rivers: Casey is a native of Lindale, Texas and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Lindale’s other NASHVILLE STAR alum, Miranda Lambert. Casey is 23 and claims he briefly dated Miranda in high school. He has already shared the stage with country music greats Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson.
Even runners-up come away with something most country music artists work years to achieve. "NASHVILLE STAR was like a ten-week audition in front of every record label VIP in Nashville and country music fans across the country," says season one runner-up and Sony Music recording artist Miranda Lambert.