NBC debuts Nashville Star 6 tonight

USA Network’s music competition Nashville Star moves to NBC for its sixth season, which debuts at 9 p.m. ET. The new season is hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, and John Rich, Jewel, and Jeffrey Steele. After tonight’s two-hour pre-taped debut, each live Monday episode will be 90 minutes long.

John Rich said the move to NBC is significant. “We haven’t been represented on network television like NBC since ‘The Barbara Mandrell Show’ went off in the 1980s. We’ve made a quantum leap since then. It’s not country and Western music; it’s music for the country,” he told The New York Daily News. “This will redefine to America what contry music is about, and where it’s headed.”

As part of its accelerated season (at least, it’s accelerated compared to that lumbering beast American Idol; Fox, are you taking notes?), the top 12 cast members have already been announced. Because the show doesn’t restrict cast members to soloists, they include a trio of men, Third Town, and two twin sisters, who are known as Pearl Heart.

One contestant, Charla Corn, already has a red X through her face, because she’s already left the show. Access Hollywood quotes an anonymous source who says “she could not sustain the rigorous schedule. She began to have trouble with her vocals, even losing her voice completely at times.”

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