Extended 'Nashville Star' Introduces New Hopefuls

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Ten new aspiring country musicians have been chosen to vie for the title of the next "Nashville Star."

The country music reality show, co-hosted by Jewel and Cowboy Troy, will introduce the hopefuls on its extended 75-minute premiere on Thursday, Jan. 11.

"Once again, the pool of talent exceeded all expectations," says Jeff Wachtel USA's executive vice president of original programming. "The ten who made it to the finals are among the best performers and most distinctive personalities ever to appear on 'Nashville Star.'"

The lucky 10 chosen from over 20,000 nationwide include the following:

Meg Allison - 25, Chicago; Graduated from Miami of Ohio University and is inspired by her mentally disabled sister.

Whitney Duncan - 22, Scotts Hill, TN; This tomboy who has overcome numerous health problems and when she was 19, she performed a duet with Kenny Rogers.

Angela Hacker - 29, Florence, AL; She'll use her soulful voice to compete against her brother, who was also chosen.

Zac Hacker - 23, Florence, AL; Has been playing and singing music since age 17.

Tim LaRoche - 36, White House, TN; This fun-loving stay-at-home dad was born in Iceland and brings a unique touch to country music.

Kacey Musgraves - 18, Golden, TX; This recent high school grad has already performed at the Presidential inauguration, the Olympics and on the "Today" show.

Rickiejoleen - 18, Tempe, AZ; This loner left school in eighth grade and welcomes all challenges.

David St. Romain - 28, Baton Rouge, LA; This new dad is marked by his strong and passionate voice.

Joshua Stevens - 28, Churchville, IA; He already has a publishing deal as a songwriter, and wants to prove he can make it as a performer.

Dustin Wilkes - 26, Jefferson, GA; This former bouncer moved from the door to the stage at Nashville's famed music bar Tootsie's.

The winner of the fifth season will receive a major music recording contract with a Warner Music Group, home to multi-platinum and platinum superstars such as Faith Hill, Big and Rich, Randy Travis, The Wreckers, Cowboy Troy and "Nashville Star" judge Blake Shelton.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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