Tara Conner, Taylor Dayne, Justin Guarini are among those vying for a country hit

November 06, 2008 10:15 AM

What do a beauty queen, a former Monkee, a funk legend and a one-time member of 21 Jump Street have in common? Apparently a desire for country music stardom.

That, at least, is the prize the new cast of CMT’s Gone Country 3 will be gunning for this January, when the third season of the show debuts. As a preview, CMT has shared the contestant lineup with PEOPLE.

Those who’ll vie to create a hit country single with show host John Rich (one half of Big & Rich) are Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner, former Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz, funk master George Clinton, ITALIC “21 Jump Street”] actor Richard Grieco, ’80s pop star Taylor Dayne, Prince protégé and drummer Sheila E and former American Idol runner-up Justin Guarini.

The show, which has just begun filming, brings the eclectic group to Nashville for a two-week immersion course in all things country. Each hopeful then will be paired with two Nashville songwriters to write a country song.

At the end of the two weeks, Rich will decide who has the right country stuff to release his or her single to country radio.

Previous winners include Julio Iglesias, Jr., and, most recently, former Skid Row front man Sebastian Bach, whose single “Battle with the Bottle” was released in September.

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