Thursday, November 15, 2007
– LeAnn Rimes will again host and perform at the 26th Annual Colgate Country Showdown National Final on Jan. 24, 2008 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The Showdown is the Nation's largest and longest-running country music talent search and radio promotion.
Showdown producer Dean Unkefer said, "The most important thing is not winning or losing but having the opportunity to perform in front of live audiences and be exposed to industry professionals."
Each year, the competition begins in the spring with country radio stations producing live shows to find new talent in their market. About 50,000 people participate, according to the organizers.
The winners then compete at state and five regional competitions throughout the summer and fall. The five finalists compete for the grand prize of $100,000 at the National Final. The televised one-hour special is syndicated nationwide and last year also aired on the GAC (Great American Country) Network.
In addition to hosting the event, Rimes will perform two songs from her latest CD, "Family." Her first single, "Nothin' Better to Do," is currently climbing up the charts.
All participants are consistently judged on five core criteria: Marketability in country music, vocal/instrumental ability, originality of performance, stage presence/charisma and talent. Optional bonus points can be awarded to acts with original music in the songwriting category.
Past local, state and regional winners including Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.