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There they were before my eyes, the oh-so-familiar Erika Jo, Jason Meadows, Jody Evans and Jayron Weaver, hanging out at a small rehearsal studio in Nashville. The top four Nashville Star contestants were gathered together to rehearse for their upcoming summer tour. Unlike during the competitive and torturous months before, when they were competing against each other to survive on the show, they now seemed relaxed and friendly, surrounded by troops of family, friends, media and manager types, all there to support their favorite winner on tour.

The 2005 Nashville Star Tour is firing-up the bus engines and heading for the road on a multi-city, summer tour that began Friday, June 17. Country music fans, many of whom anxiously watched and enthusiastically participated in voting during the USA Network’s talent search television series this spring, will get to experience “Nashville Star’s” live music road show across the United States and Canada. The show will feature the top four scoring artists: Universal South recording artist Erika Jo, this season’s pick as the next country music superstar, and runners up Jason Meadows, Jody Evans, and Jayron Weaver.

Performers will appear in reverse order of their finishes on the television show. As the winner, Erika Jo will close each show, preceded by Meadows, Evans, and Weaver. Members of the Nashville Star Band, the same group from the TV series, will be out on the tour backing up each artist. Each show will run approximately 90 minutes.

The first person we spoke with was the tired, but still enthusiastic Erika Jo, Country music’s newest princess. “Even my publicist at the label says this last week has been the worst week she has ever seen, and she’s worked with some big people,” she tells Dish. And from what she’s been up to, it’s easy to see why she’s so tired. “I recorded my whole album in 11 days. It’s done-in 11 days. I had the best players you can get. I’ve been doing a lot of press, a lot of media. I did my Grand Ole Opry debut on June 21st, and I filmed my very first video up in Canada this last week. I’ve been shooting stuff for the Chevy Calendar, and then I’ve been doing stuff with Star Magazine. Just this morning I got up and did a satellite radio tour, and I talked to about 30 stations, and I did my cd signing because my album was released today, and I rehearsed for this tour yesterday and I rehearsed today.” Whew…..what a difference winning Nashville Star can make! “I didn’t expect to win, but if I had won or not, I was still gonna keep doing music,” she confessed, “And playing and pursuing, but I’m really glad it turned out the way it did.”

From beauty pageants to performing regularly with her father’s band, 18-year-old Erika Jo has covered an amazing amount of territory for one so young. She’s traveled across much of the United States performing; she’s played weddings, private parties, and public events. Now she’s been gifted with a rare opportunity, the chance to spin the wheel-of-superstardom in hopes landing on the top of the charts. In the meanwhile, as she heads out on her first tour as a headliner, she says, “We’re definitely gonna have some fun, that’s for sure.” / Issue 47 - September 2018
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