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A better Nashville Star

Mike Sudhalter  |  May 5, 2007

Every year, I look forward to watching Nashville Star.

Ten contestants vying for that country music dream of becoming the next Garth Brooks or Reba McEntire.

But after five seasons and few careers launched, the show must come to an end or figure out a better way to make the show a better avenue for aspiring country stars.

In five seasons, only Miranda Lambert has been able to sustain any success, and she still has to make a statement on her sophomore album to achieve country stardom. Few of the stars on Star have even made it to a second album.

When the entire premise of a show is based on its contestants "making it big," it starts to lose credibility when only one of 50 contestants has done so in a five-year span.

Part of the problem is the success of American Idol, which has sent Carrie Underwood into superstardom and also given Kellie Pickler, Josh Gracin and Bucky Covington a name in country music.

Unfortunately, Nashville Star has become a minor league for Idol, and that's bad for country music. Forgive the pun, but country music shouldn't play second fiddle to anyone.

Nashville Star might have been better off if they'd had better luck. In 2005, Jason Meadows was clearly the best contender, but Erika Jo won the competition. Her single barely made a dent on country radio.

Maybe Nashville Star contestants aren't getting enough exposure or their albums aren't being marketed correctly. Offering the songs from each performance weekly on ITunes may have been a step in the right direction.

Also, for the sake of country fans, don't start it during the same period as Idol. You don't want the shows to compete. Put it in the summer when country fans will be looking for something to watch.

How many of us have time to watch two Idol/Star like shows every week?

I like a country-themed show like this as much as anybody else, but it's tough to watch careers end before they begin.

:: Posted at 4:16 AM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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