Ten Contestants Named for CMT’s Next Superstar

New Series Premieres April 8 on CMT

Five men and five women will fight for the title in CMT’s latest competition series, CMT’s Next Superstar , premiering April 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In each episode of the 10-episode series, CMT will search to find the next great country star and will open the door for undiscovered singer-songwriters who think they have what it takes to make it in the country music industry.

Hosted by Thea Andrews , the weekly show will feature every triumph and setback as contestants will live together in a house in Nashville, providing a rare and revealing inside look at the ensuing drama that can take place when musical adversaries live and compete together.

Contestant auditions were held in Los Angeles, Nashville, Dallas and Austin, Texas, as well as through private showcases around the country and an online competition through www.ourstage.com. Show talent scouts also sought contestants through industry agents, management, labels, talent schools, honky-tonks — anywhere they could find strong country singer-songwriters.

The Top 10 finalists are:

Bri Bagwell , 23, Las Cruces, N.M.
Adrienne Beasley , 22, Wickliffe, Ky.
Courtney Cole , 24, Mandeville, La.
Danielle Lauderdale , 23, Orange Park, Fla.
Andrea Pearson , 29, Kelowna, British Columbia
Steven Clawson , 29, Thomasville, Ga.
Matt Dame , 37, Batesville, Ark.
Matt Mason , 25, Fairland, Ind.
Ben Smith , 29, Gainesville, Texas
Wynn Varble , 50, Hampshire, Tenn.

Contestants on CMT’s Next Superstar will try to impress celebrity guests each week through a series of music business related ’challenges’ and grueling performance rounds. Each week, one finalist will be eliminated and viewers will vote to determine who will win.

The series is executive produced by Legacy Productions’ co-president Simon Lythgoe and Nigel Lythgoe, co-founder and president of Big Red 2 Entertainment, a newly-formed company with 19 Entertainment. Bob Kusbit executive produces, and Brad Johnson and Melanie Moreau serve as executive producers for CMT.