Millions of votes have been tabulated from all 50 states, and American television viewers have by chosen 20-year-old Chris Young as the fourth season winner of USA Network′s NASHVILLE STAR. Chris Young′s winning moment came during the season finale that aired live from Nashville′s BellSouth Acuff Theatre on USA Network on Tuesday, May 2 at 10:00/9:00PM Central. Show hosts Wynonna and Cowboy Troy made the big announcement that Young won by a large margin beating out fellow finalists Casey Rivers and Nicole Jamrose to win the NASHVILLE STAR title, a Chevy Silverado SS truck, an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry and a recording contract with Sony BMG Nashville.
"I bet another contestant $20 that I wouldn′t win this thing," laughs Chris. "You know, I′ve been singing and writing music for a long time and have been passed on by a number of labels. This is a hard business to make it in, and I′m just grateful that my fans and USA Network have given me the opportunity to show America what I′ve got."
Chris Young is a multi-talented 20 year-old with a flair for singing, songwriting and dancing. Chris considers himself an expert at Line Dancing and Hip-Hop. He is from Murfreesboro, TN and has a fan club of hundreds who follow him religiously across the country.
"When we first saw Chris Young in the auditions stage of the process this year, we were all struck by his vocal and songwriting talent, but he has an incredibly obvious star quality that can′t be overlooked," said executive producer H.T. Owens. "The country music fans of America also realized that early as Chris was a crowd favorite from the first episode. We are proud to have Chris as our new Nashville Star and know that he′s ready to take his career to the next level."
NASHVILLE STAR showed impressive growth in the fourth season with an average of 2.5 million viewers tuning in each week. Versus its season-to-date average prior to the finale, the NASHVILLE STAR finale was up 27% in total viewers and for the entire season the show saw an increase of 11% in households over the previous season.
Phone and internet voting has also reached record highs this season with a peak of 2.4 million votes cast, which is up over 36% from last season.
"Chris Young is just the newest face and voice of this growing franchise," explains Jeff Wachtel, USA′s Executive Vice President, Original Programming. "This show just keeps getting bigger and attracting a wider audience due in part to this season′s incredible talent pool. I wouldn′t be surprised if we see several of the runners-up walk away with recording contracts as well."
This season′s panel of judges was made up of Arista Nashville singer/songwriter Phil Vassar, movie and music industry executive Anastasia Brown and a rotating celebrity guest judge each week. Guest performers and judges this season included Grammy-Award winning superstar Gretchen Wilson, "Blue Collar Comedy′s Larry the Cable Guy, country music legend Kenny Rogers, WWE Champion John Cena, CMA and ACM Best Female Vocalist nominee Sara Evans, multi-Grammy Award winning musician, producer and composer David Foster, renowned R&B artist Patti Labelle, music legend Hank Williams, Jr., multi-platinum superstar Trace Adkins, rock icons Scott Weiland and Duff McKagen of Velvet Revolver, hot country newcomer Jason Aldean, and award-winning actress Ashley Judd & Grammy Award winning country music superstar Naomi Judd - Wynonna′s sister and mother.