The Votes Are In: Who's The Next GAC Star?


One Night Rodeo is a finalist in the 2008 Next GAC Star competition. Visit the Next GAC Star page for more information about the competition and show times.

September 10, 2008 — The voters have spoken — and One Night Rodeo has been voted the The Next GAC Star!

Tonight, four prevailing finalists of the Next GAC Star — a competition launched by Great American Country (GAC) and Music Nation - put forth their best efforts in final performances then waited for the announcement that would change their lives forever. In the end, viewers chose One Night Rodeo as their choice for the first-ever Next GAC Star. After host Robin Meade, anchor of Headline News’ "Morning Express with Robin Meade," announced One Night Rodeo as America’s choice, they took the stage alone and performed their new single, "Alive And Living."

Thirteen years of hard work, dedication and persistence in the same band are three qualifications One Night Rodeo believed made them a solid threat for the Next GAC Star competition. Composed of band members Duane Allison, Mike Elrod, Cory Hildreth and Jack Tamburin, this band loves performing for their hometown crowd in Bradenton, Florida. All four men come from musical families, are in their thirties, have families of their own and wanted to become famous singers as kids. They call their fashion style "contemporary and a little country," practically the perfect words to describe their musical influences: Eagles and Rascal Flatts.

Great American Country (GAC) and Music Nation selected the six finalists in GAC’s first-ever nationwide talent competition, "The Next GAC Star," a search for the next country music star. Finalists J.C. Andersen, Tyler Barham, Angela Engelman, Megan Conner, One Night Rodeo and Lane Turner were chosen out of thousands of independent country artists around the U.S. who uploaded videos, MP3s and photos online, on

America voted to determine The Next GAC Star during the two-part televised finale on September 3 and 10, with the winner crowned during a live elimination in the second show. One Night Rodeo, the grand prize winner, receives a record deal with Original Signal Recordings, a Gibson Hummingbird Guitar, and a music video, which will air on GAC and

Moments after winning, One Night Rodeo's lead singer Cory Hildreth said, "I can't even describe the joy we have. It hasn't even sunk in yet. It's incredible."

Cory joked that to prepare for the competition, they all bought "thousand dollar outfits." But in the end, it was their vocal blend that held the key to the win. Each of the male finalists learned the song "Alive And Living" — and Cory explained how One Night Rodeo put their unique stamp on it. "Our harmonies," he said simply. "We're a harmony band, so we focused everything on our vocals."

The group will be spending September 11 in the studio recording "Alive And Living" with producers Child and Shaw, two of the Next GAC Star judges. "It's an incredible song," said Cory. "I can't wait to get in the studio and actually work with Desmond Child and Victoria Shaw and see them put their stamp on that song. It's going to be totally different than what we did on the show, I'm sure."

After the recording session, One Night Rodeo heads out on the road for their radio tour. Check back with to see what the guys are doing next!