Local man has shot at being on "Nashville Star"

By MELISSA ARNOLD State Journal Staff Writer Published:

At 20, Frankfort resident Eddie Barber wasn't even old enough to be in the Austin City Saloon in Lexington, which left him residing in the saloon's basement during the singing competition, but that still didn't stop him from stealing the show.

On Nov. 19, Barber was chosen as a semifinalist for the reality TV show "Nashville Star." Local tryouts were held Nov. 17-19 at the saloon and at the end of each day contestants were eliminated. Barber was trying out to be in the second season of the show, which will air on March 6, 2004, on the USA network.

"There were over 200 contestants," Barber said. "There were people from everywhere...California, New York, Canada."

When the two semifinalists were announced Barber found himself at a loss for words. The other semifinalist is Lexington native Shelly Rann, but she lives in Nashville.

Preliminary auditions were scheduled by country radio stations across the U.S. to pick 50 lucky contestants for the regional competition in Nashville in January. Barber is one of the lucky 50. Lexington's country music station 98.1 The Bull hosted the tryouts in Lexington.

"I couldn't speak," Barber said. "I didn't know what to say, so I just started hugging people and saying thanks."

Out of the 50 semifinalists, 12 will be chosen to compete on the show by the official "Nashville Star" judging panel. Then those 12 will compete on the show through musical performances and then be judged by professionals in the industry, which will eventually narrow down the finalists to one winner. The winner will receive a recording contract with Sony Music Nashville. Nancy O'Dell, co-anchor of Access Hollywood, will once again be the show's host.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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