‘American Idol’ has brought us Carrie Underwood and other Country music stars, and now producer, Nigel Lythgoe, is creating another talent competition geared specifically to country music.
‘CMT’s Next Superstar,’ will be a venture between Nigel and his son, Simon, who is also a producer on ‘AI.’ But the father-son team say that this show will be different from any other televised talent search.
“It’s not just going to be another ‘American Idol’ production,” Nigel insists to the Hollywood Reporter. “From my point of view, I want to change it up totally.”
The show will be shooting in Nashville, Memphis and Texas, he reveals. “Every challenge is different. Every guest judge will be different. On ‘Nashville Star’, they didn’t have media challenges. We’re giving them radio training and putting them through photo shoots and music video challenges. We’re putting them on a tour bus. You’re really going to get to know these contestants really well, just by being with them 24-7.”
The show will begin shooting in April, and the winner will be announced during the CMT Awards. “Country music is all about storytelling, personalities and putting yourself into the songs” he explains. “This show is not about going to a set, it’s about being in a location that has history to it. We’re down and dirty in the heart of Nashville.”
“We’re putting the onus on the contestants, where they can really make the song their own,” Simon explains. “We will pick the genres and they have to then turn it into a country song, but make it their own. So if they want a fiddle, they can have it. If they want a steel guitar, they’ve got it. They can go their own their path, but they are responsible for how they perform. We’ll give them the tools, they have to take control of it. We’re not the run-of-the-mill, studio-based, glitz and glamour show.”
“We’re putting them into a music mansion outside of Nashville where they will live together and work together,” Simon notes. “There will be rehearsal studios in the mansion as well. It’s not a hundred percent locked in yet, but the one we’re looking at is a famous person’s house.”
“We will have a guest judge each week who specializes in a particular field,” says Simon. “If we’re shooting a music video, which is one of the challenges, we will show all the backstage stuff, the director, the casting, how they produce it. Then we’ll stream it to film students who vote to determine who the bottom two contestants are. Otherwise the judges decide.”
The winner will have a single released to radio, and will also be a part of the CMT tour, which hits the road in the summer.