Rules & Eligibility


  1. ENTRY PROCEDURE: Artists must submit an entry form and $30 fee to a participating radio station
  3. DISPUTES: The sponsoring radio station is authorized to resolve all disputes at their Showdown. CS is the sole authority in resolving all disputes at the regional, semi final and national level competitions and to disqualify any contestant at any level of the contest for failure to comply with the rules and regulations including errors and omissions. CS’s decisions are final.
  4. PERFORMANCE: The following applies to any Showdown contest:
  5. Each act entered in the Showdown must perform only with the personnel listed on Sections 1 and 2 of the Entry Form. No personnel changes or substitutions will be permitted once local competition has been produced. Once an individual withdraws from an act at any level of the Showdown, he/she cannot perform at the next level.
  6. Individuals may perform with only one act during any local Showdown.
  7. A Radio Station may, at its discretion, provide a backup band for acts requiring instrumental support or allow contestants’ pre-recorded music.
  8. No live “backup band” vocals are allowed. Neither the backup band nor any of its members is permitted to compete in the Showdown in which they are the backup band.
  9. Each act must perform live, vocally and/or instrumentally. No special lighting, props or special effects may be used.
  10. Any act with three or more individuals playing an instrument may not use the backup band or any part of the backup band, or pre-recorded music.
  11. The amount of performance time given to each local Showdown contestant will be determined by the local radio station.
  12. All performances must be done in good taste: no music or lyrics that the radio station or CS considers offensive may be performed.
  13. Age restrictions will be at the discretion of the radio station and/or its venue.
  14. Contestants may perform their own music and receive extra bonus points from the judges. Music eligible for bonus points will be defined as any piece of music written or co-written by the contestant (either individual or member of group). Any contestant (either individual or member of group) who claims to be using his own music may be disqualified at any level of the contest at the discretion of CS if a musical copyright for the music exists which does not name the contestant as author or co-author.
  15. Acceptable documentation to prove ownership of your music shall include either a certificate of copyright, proof of song registration with BMI, ASCAP, etc., or a notarized copy of the music.
  16. Performances will be awarded 0-10 points in each of the following categories: 1) Marketability in country music; 2) Vocal/instrumental ability; 3) Originality; 4) Stage presence/ charisma; 5) Talent. An optional bonus of up to three points may be awarded for acts performing their own music.
  17. In the event of a tie, the first tie-breaker shall be the highest number of points given in the Talent category. The second tie-breaker shall be the highest number of points awarded in the Marketability category. The third tie-breaker shall be by secret vote of the judges based on overall performance style and impact.
  18. LOCAL CONTEST PRIZES: The only official prize offered at the local Showdown level is the opportunity for the winner to advance to the Regional Showdown competition. Local Showdown contestants must pay their own expenses during the competition at the local, regional and semifinal levels. In signing this Entry Form, the Showdown contestant acknowledges that neither CS nor any national sponsor is responsible for any prizes promised or offered at the local Showdown contest level (except for the local Showdown winner’s chance to compete in the Regional Showdown competition).
  20. The winner of the Local Showdown is eligible to compete in the Regional Showdown. Contestants may enter as many local competitions as they wish until winning. Local winners may reenter the contest at the Local level only after being eliminated at a Regional or Semifinal. They must complete a new Entry Form and pay the entry fee again when entering at another station. Each contestant will have seven minutes to perform at the Regional Showdown. No pre-recorded music, including loops, is allowed at a Regional, Semifinal, or National Final. The winner of each Regional Showdown will receive $1,000 and the opportunity to compete at one of the five Semifinal showdowns. Prizes won by minors will be awarded to a parent or legal guardian if requested.
  21. There will be five Semifinal showdowns where Regional winners will compete for seven minutes to win airfare & hotel to compete at the National Final. Contestants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who must execute releases of liability and publicity. National Final expenses paid by CS are listed below. All other expenses not specified shall be the responsibility of the contestants.
  22. Hotel accommodation (double occupancy).
  23. Round-trip coach airfare on the airline designated by CS from a continental USA airport closest to contestant’s home served by that airline.
  24. The winner will receive and share in prizes as awarded by Country Showdown. Total prizes awarded will meet or exceed a $50,000 value. All prizes are subject to approval and availability of local and national sponsors. The winner or winner’s parent or legal guardian (if winner is a minor) must execute an affidavit of eligibility within 30 days of the National Final. Failure to comply may result in forfeiture of the prizes. Prizes are non-transferable. Winners shall be solely responsible for all taxes in connection with their prizes.
  25. PROMOTIONAL AUTHORIZATION: By submitting an Entry Form, the act (and each individual member thereof) grants to CS and any national sponsor the right to utilize the act’s (and each individual member’s thereof) name, likeness, image, voice, appearance, and performance in perpetuity worldwide for advertising, trade or any other lawful promotional purposes whatsoever, in any and all media now known or thereafter developed, without compensation. I/we also grant CS and any national sponsor the right to broadcast, market, sell and otherwise distribute my name, image, likeness, voice, appearance and performance, either in whole or in parts for commercial, non-commercial television, close-circuit exhibition, home video distribution, internet or any other purpose CS or other national sponsor, in their sole discretion may determine. I/we hereby give all clearance, copyright or otherwise, for the use of my name, likeness, image, voice, appearance and performance embodied in my/our performance/stage presentation. If under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must sign the entry form.
  26. ASSUMPTION OF RISK: By submitting this Entry Form, the act (and each individual member thereof) assumes all risks of property damage or bodily injury (including death) that might occur during the Local, Regional, Semifinal and National Showdown events. The act (and each individual member thereof) agrees not to bring against the national sponsors any claim for property damage or bodily injury (including death) that might occur during Local, Regional, Semifinal or National Showdown events.
  27. GOOD CHARACTER: The act agrees that it may be disqualified immediately from any level of Showdown competition if the act (or any member thereof) commits any act or becomes involved in any situation that would adversely reflect on the Showdown or any party furnishing a prize, or tend to bring it or that party into public disrepute.
  28. ELIGIBILITY: Submit any questions regarding eligibility to CS.
  29. I am/we are not an act with over seven individuals.
  30. I/we have not performed on a record listed in Billboard within eighteen months preceding local competition.
  31. I/we have paid the $30.00 registration fee before performing live at the local Showdown.
  32. I am/we are not part of the local backup band nor am I/are we related to any member of the local backup band by birth or marriage nor have I/we performed with the local back-up band or any member of the local backup band for monetary compensation within the past year.
  33. I am/we are not an owner, controlling stockholder or employee of and I am/we are not related by birth or marriage, nor do I/we live in the same household as the local Showdown judge, the radio station sponsoring the local Showdown contest, any national sponsor, CS, or any employee, controlling stockholder, owner, officer or agent of any of the foregoing parties.
  34. I/we have not already been declared a Local winner of a 2018 Country Showdown and eligible for Regional competition.
  35. I/we have never been a National Winner, either as an individual or as part of a group of the 2015, 2016, or 2017 Country Showdown.