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Country Showdown Through The Years

The Country Showdown began in the Early 1980’s sponsored by Wrangler. Throughout the years the dreams of many up and coming artists such as Garth Brooks, Martina McBride, Chris Young, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Billy Ray Cyrus, Carrie Underwood and many more were made possible by an incredible list of supporting sponsors.

Click each season to see more information about that years Country Showdown National Finals.

The 1st Country Showdown was originally named the Wrangler Country Star Search and was held at the Grand Ole Opry House.

Finalists:

The Country Sunshine Band – 2nd Place
Danny Bird – 3rd Place
Tamara Comstock
Denise Price

National Winner
Denise Price Davis

Hosts & Special Guests:
Jerry Reed
Conway Twitty
Mel Tillis
Merle Haggard
Ernest Tubb
Connie Cato
T.G. Sheppard
Dennis Weaver – Host

Sponsors:
Wrangler
Toyota

Season 2 was sponsored by Wrangler and officially was renamed the Wrangler Country Showdown. The finals were held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville TN.

10 Finalists:
Southern Satisfaction
Neil & The Night Riders
Southern Tears
Rhonda Parker
The Cheyenne River Band
Tracy Lynn Mosmy
The John Arnold Band
The Broken Arrow Band
Sherry Ann LeBlanc
Pam & Mike Gavin

GUEST HOSTS & SINGERS:
Reba McEntire
Denise Price – Season 1 Winner
Dick Feller
Charlie McCoy – Country Showdown Band Leader
Louise Mandrell – Host
Ed Bruce – Host

SPONSORS:
Dodge Trucks

1989 – Season 7 the True Value Country Showdown held at the Grand Ole Opry House.

Finalists:
Heavy Country
Horizon
Loose Reigns Band
Romeo Ridge
Slickerbilly
Spencer Crossing

National Winner
Romeo Ridge Band

Hosts and Special Guests:
Jim Stafford – Host
Bobby Bare
Jim Ed Brown
Helen Cornelius
Roy Clark
John Conlee
Mickey Gilley
Girls Next Door
Mel McDaniel
Ronnie McDowell
Pinkard & Bowden
Charlie Pride
Jeannie C. Riley
Serendipity Singers
Leroy Van Dyke
Paul Williams
Tom Wopat
Tammy Wynette
Bobby Allison – Previous Year’s Winner

Sponsors:
True Value
Hyatt Regency
Gray Line of Nashville
Budget Rental Cars
US Air

1990 – Season 9 the True Value/GMC Truck Country Showdown was held at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville Tn.

Finalists:
Mccardian Company
Heavy Country
The Slate Creek Band
Mario Martin
Sweetwater
Dave Durham and the Bull Durham Band

National Final Winner
Dave Durham & The Bill Durham Band

Hosts & Special Guests
Minnie Pearl – Host
Jim Stafford – Host
Loretta Lynn
Roger Miller
Tanya Tucker
Lee Greenwood
Charlie McCoy – Showdown Band

Sponsors:
GMC Trucks
US Air
Park Suites Hotel
Shoney’s International

1991- The 10th Anniversary of the True Value/GMC Truck Country Showdown was held at the Grand Ole Opry Stage in Nashville TN.

Finalists:
Slate Creek
Bubba Talbert
Heavy Country
Cheyenne Stampede Band
Kent Alexander
Mccarty & Company

National Final Winner:
Cheyenne Stampede Band

Hosts & Special Guests
Willie Nelson – Host
Chris Kristofferson – Co-Host
Steve Wariner
Matraca Burg
Dave Durham – Winner of 9th Season

Sponsors:
True Value
GMC Trucks
American Airlines
Embassy Suites Hotel
Shoney’s International

Season 11 of the Country Showdown was held at the Grand Palace in Branson Missouri.

Finalists
The Tom Ellis Band
Ricky Tripp
The Webber Family
Rodney Briggs
The Green Brothers Band
Pony Express

National Final Winner
Ricky Tripp

Hosts & Special Guests
Kenny Rogers – Host
Louise Mandrell – Co-Host
Doug Stone – Co-Host
Jim Stafford
Ray Stevens
Mel Tillis
Shoji Tabuchi
Charlie McCoy – Country Showdown Band

Sponsors
True Value
GMC Truck
Big Cedar Lodge
Budget Rental Car

1994 – Season 12 of the Country Showdown was held at the Grand Place in Branson Missouri

Finalists:
Jamie Lee & The Ratt’lers
Lucky 7 Band
Michael Bo Griner & Straight Shooter Band
Jeff Jaacks
Pollo Loco
Southern Comfort

National Final Winner
Michael Bo Griner & Straight Shooter Band

Hosts & Special Guests
Kenny Rogers – Host
George Lindsey – Host
Ricky Van Shelton
Debra Allen

Sponsors
GMC Truck
Coca- Cola
Budget Rental Car
American Eagle/American Airlines
Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza

The 14th Annual Country Showdown was held at Epcot at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida

Finalists
Tony Phillips
Rio Grande
Megan Shehan
Young Country
Leslie Sawyer
Mark Hain

National Final Winner
Tony Phillip

Hosts & Special Guests
The Oak Ridge Boys – Host
Vicki Lawrence – Host
Jimmy Dean

Sponsors
True Value
Jimmy Dean
Florida Custom Coach
Fleetwood RV’s
Disney’s Polynesian Resort

1996 – The Country Showdown was held at Epcot, Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida.

Finalists:
Robert Williamson
R.T. Rinehart
The Younger Brothers
Port Of Call
Coltrain
Scott Whitaker & The Smoking Guns

National Final Winner
R.T. Rinehart

Hosts & Special Guests
Tanya Tucker – Host
T Graham Brown
Jimmy Dean

Sponsors
True Value
Jimmy Dean
Grand Floridian Beach Resort
Thrifty Car Rental

1997 – Season 16 of the Country Showdown was held at Universal Studios in Orlando Florida.

Finalists
Scott Williams
Julia Lane
Chris Gray
Randy Lee Ashcraft Band
Jennifer Hildebrandt
Travis Spratt

National Final Winner
Randy Lee Ashcraft Band

Hosts & Special Guest Singers
Ray Stevens – Host
Mark Chesnutt
Jimmy Dean
Charlie McCoy – Showdown Band

Sponsors
True Value
Jimmy Dean
Omni Rosen Hotel

Season 17 of the Country Showdown came back home to Nashville TN and was held at the Grand Ole Opry Stage.

Finalists:
Steve McCormick
Stephanie Varone
Matt Engels
Jewels Hanson
Sweetwater
Jay Teter

National Final Winner
Matt Engels

Hosts & Special Guests:
Billy Ray Cyrus – Host
Williams & Reed – Co-Host
Tanya Tucker
Charlie McCoy – Country Showdown Band

Sponsors
True Value
Jimmy Dean
Marriott
Country Music Hall of Fame

2000 – Season 18 was held at the Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville TN.

Finalists:
Jamie Leigh & Thunderstruck
Richie Jones
Jennifer Nottingham
The Harris Family
Les Richardson
Don Campbell Band

National Final Winner
The Don Campbell Band

Hosts & Special Guests
Sawyer Brown – Host
Williams & Ree – Co-Hosts

Sponsors
True Value
Marriott

Season 19 was held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville TN. This National Final celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry.

Finalists:
Midnight Ride
Mike Ulvila
Deanna Marie Freeman
Chris Young
Erika Jo
Scott Whitaker & The Smokin’ Guns

National Final Winner:
Scott Whitaker & The Smokin’ Guns

Hosts & Special Guests
Lorrie Morgan – Host
Williams & Ree – Co-Hosts

Sponsors
True Value

The 20th Anniversary of the Country Showdown was held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville TN and was the first year with long time sponsors Colgate.

Finalists
Lauren Allen
Against The Grain
Deanna Freeman
Jenny Paquette
Joe Taucher
Jennifer Horne

National Final Winner
Jennifer Horne

Hosts & Special Guests
Barbara Mandrell – Host
Joe Diffie

Sponsors
Colgate

Season 21 of the Country Showdown was held at Epcot and Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida.

Finalists
Jason Wheeler
Samantha Madison
Carrie Joy
City Cowboys
Ashley Thompson
Young Country

National Final Winner
Ashley Thompson

Hosts & Special Guest
Billy Ray Cyrus – Host

Sponsors
Colgate
Country Weekly
Betsey Johnson
Country Music Hall of Fame

2004 – Season 22 of the Country Showdown was held at Epcot at Walt Disney Word Resort in Orlando Florida.

Finalists
Brianna Sky
Harris Family
Mallary & Justin
No Way Out
Drew Davis Band
Debra Faye

National Final Winner
The Drew Davis Band

Hosts & Special Guests
Billy Ray Cyrus – Host
Cassie DePaiva – Co-Host
Miley Cyrus – Special Appearance

Sponsors
Colgate
Country Music Hall of Fame

Season 23 of the Country Showdown was held at Epcot in Walt Disney World Orlando Florida.

Finalists
Sarah Lenore
April Zamora
Heather Shelley
Tracilynne
Midnight Hurricanes
Jewels Hanson

National Final Winner
Heather Shelley

Hosts & Special Guests
Sara Evans – Host

Sponsors
Colgate

Season 24 of the Country Showdown made it’s way back home to Nashville and was held at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

Finalists
Ashley Ford
Rebecca Frederick
Catherine Ritter
Michelle Rene
Jessi

National Final Winner
Michelle Rene

Hosts & Special Guests
Cassie DePiva – Host
Montgomery Gentry

Sponsors
Colgate
Sheraton

The 25th Anniversary of the Country Showdown was held at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Tennessee.

Finalists:
Hailey Stout
Lindsey Earl
Megan Peeler
J Juliano w/ Adrienne Grove
Jill James

National Final Winner
Megan Peeler

Hosts & Special Guests
Leann Rimes – Host
Garth Brooks – Special Recorded Guest Appearance

Sponsor
Colgate
Sheraton

Season 26  Country Showdown National Finals were held at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

Finalists
Carrie Joy
Christy Suggett
Eldon Johnson
Nash Street
Trevor Panczak

National Final Winner
Nash Street

Host & Special Guests
Leann Rimes – Host
Little Jimmie Dickens

Sponsor
Colgate

Season 27 Country Showdown National Finals were held at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

Finalists
Korey Blake
Livewire
Lance Lipinsky
Johnny Bulford
Matt Reeves

National Final Winner
Johnny Bulford

Hosts & Special Guests
Leann Rimes

Sponsors
Colgate
Sheraton

Season 28 of the Country Showdown was held at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Tennessee.

Finalists
Casey Lee Smith
Kendall Phillips
Whisky Row
Terry Lee Spencer
Karla Davis

National Final Winner
Karla Davis

Hosts & Special Guests
Leann Rimes

Sponsors
Colgate
Sheraton

Season 29 of the Country Showdown was held at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Tennessee and was our first year with sponsors Texaco.

Finalists
Carin Mari
Greg Scudder
Kendall Phillips
Reggie Shaw
Jaclyn North

National Final Winner
Jaclyn North

Host
Leann Rimes

Sponsors
Texaco

The 30th Anniversary of the Country Showdown was held at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Tennessee.

Finalists
Gwendlyn Kay
Keeira Lyn Ford
Laurel Wright
Paisley Van Patten
Shane Martin

National Final Winner
Laurel Wright

Host
Leann Rimes

Sponsor
Texaco

Season 31 of the Country Showdown was held at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Tennessee

Finalists:
Deidre Thornell
Kassie & Ben
Kate & Corey
Poor Mans Poison
The Brothers Roberson

National Final Winner
Poor Mans Poison

Host
Jewel

Sponsor
Texaco

The 32nd Country Showdown National Finals were held at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

Finalists
Casey Sutton
Crystal Yates
Southern Halo
Suzanne Harper
Zac Matthews

National Final Winner
Crystal Yates

Host
Leann Rimes

Sponsor
Texaco

The 33rd Season National Finals were held at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Tennessee.

Finalists:
Eli Tellor
JB Aaron
Marie Wise-Hawkins
Nate Kenyon
The Brothers Roberson

National Final Winners
The Brothers Roberson

Host
Leann Rimes

Sponsor
Texaco

The 34th Season National Finals were held at the historic Ryman Auditorium

Finalists
Brad Richmond
Drew Hale
Eric Van Houten
Highway 238
Suzanna Harper & Talk Like June

National Final Winner
Drew Hale

The Season 35 Country Showdown National Finals were held at The Stage on Nashville’s historic lower Broadway.

Finalists
Courtney Pitzer
Skyline Drive
Tyler Braden
Elsie
Brock Wagoner

National Final Winner
Elsie

Host
Jessie G

Sponsors & Artist Mentors
Broadway Entertainment Venues
The Stage On Broadway
Second Fiddle
Legends Corner
Nashville Crossroads
Hayes Street Hotel
Tom Jackson Productions
Amy Wolters
Crowd Music
Mike Castronovo
Blue Grotto Sound
Sean Spence
Preshias Harris

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