Colgate Country Showdown Finals, Jan.24

The finals of the 26th Annual Colgate Country Showdown, the nation's longest running country music talent search program, will be held in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium, Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m.

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LeAnn Rimes will host the event for the second consecutive year. Five regional winners—Eldon Johnson, Carrie Joy, Trevor Panczak, Christy Suggett and the band Nash Street—will compete for the $100,000 grand prize and a shot at country stardom. "Hosting the show is a lot of fun," says LeAnn. "I get to know the contestants really well. We spend a good amount of time rehearsing, and I know last year I was backstage trying to calm their nerves and try to keep their mind off of everything. I've been in their shoes and I know what they're going through." Tickets to the show are free and are available by calling (615) 321-5130 or through the e-mail address, erin@countryshowdown.com. Past participants in the Colgate Country Showdown have included Garth Brooks, Martina McBride, Billy Ray Cyrus and several others. The finals of this year's event will be telecast at a later date.

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