A little more than a year ago, a young musician from Tempe was getting a break of a lifetime at the Ox Bow Saloon. Rickiejoleen was being showcased for Warner Brothers Records for a chance at a recording contract.
Now she has another showcase -- a national one -- on the USA Network's "Nashville Star" program.
Rickiejoleen is one of the 10 finalists selected to appear in the fifth season of the show that is something like "American Idol" for country music.
Though she is only 18, Rickiejoleen already has years of experience behind her. She put together her first band at the age of 8 and did cold calls to Tempe area bars and nightclubs for bookings. She was 15 when she first appeared at Payson's Ox Bow Saloon.
Last year, her showcase at the Ox Bow was arranged by one of her mentors, country music star Collin Raye.
At the time, Raye said, "I want to introduce her to the world. I'm doing everything I can to help. I feel like she's the purest new talent I've seen in my career."
More than 20,000 artists auditioned for the 10 slots on "Nashville Star," which begins airing Thursday night, Jan. 11, on the USA Network.
Viewers cast votes for their favorite performers. It is possible to vote 10 times on the USA Web site and 10 times through text messaging.
Judges will be Anastasia Brown, Randy Owen and Blake Shelton. The singer, Jewel, will host the show.
In addition to Rickiejoleen, the season's other contestants are Meg Allison, Whitney Duncan, Angela Hacker, Zac Hacker, Tim LaRoche, Kacey Musgraves, Joshua Stevens, David St. Romain and Dustin Wilkes.