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Singer/songwriter Jewel will host the finals of the Texaco Country Showdown tonight (Jan. 17) from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, beginning at 7 p.m. The Texaco Country Showdown is the longest-running talent competition in the nation, which is one of the elements that attracted Jewel to the show. "It has produced a lot of great talent," she says. "I know I'm going to enjoy doing it and I'm excited about it. Hosting a show is a little different for me, and I hope I can do a great job." Jewel will also perform two songs during the show, "Standing Still" and her signature tune "You Were Meant for Me."
Jewel notes that she's also looking forward to the release of her upcoming Greatest Hits album, which will be out Feb. 5. The album includes new versions of some of her best-loved songs. "I recut ''You Were Meant for Me' with the Pistol Annies," she says. "I love them. It turned out to be a nice little shuffle. I also recut 'Foolish Games' with Kelly Clarkson, who is just amazing."
Tonight's Texaco Country Showdown finalists are Kate and Corey, Kassie and Ben, Deidre Thornell, The Brothers Roberson and Poor Man's Poison. Following their performances, they will be judged by a panel of industry experts and media members and one act will emerge as the winner. The show is free and open to the public. The finals will be taped live and will air on various television stations around the country at a later date.