At the start of 2023, Apple TV+ unveiled its brand new talent show with a twist, My Kind of Country.
The series follows Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton and Orville Peck as they search the world for country music's next star. The Season 1 contestants have now been revealed, with artists from a refreshingly eclectic mix of backgrounds up for the top prize.
Jimmie Allen's roster will include Ale Aguirre from Chihuahua, Mexico; Dhruv Visvanath from New Delhi, India; Camille Parker from Durham, North Carolina; and Justin Serrao from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mickey Guyton will be battling it out with Allen and Peck with her team of up-and-coming country artists. Guyton's group comprises Nashville's Ashlie Amber and Chuck Adams, along with The Betsies from Cape Town, South Africa and Wandile from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Lastly, Orville Peck's selection of country prodigies will consist of Alisha Pais from Goa, India; The Congo Cowboys and Micaela Kleinsmith, both of whom hail from Cape Town, South Africa; and Ismay Hellman from Petaluma, California.
While the music competition format has maintained its popularity since the early days of X Factor and The Voice, relatively few series have focussed specifically on country music.
The Voice has often featured budding country artists, such as Morgan Wallen, but has also received criticism for being too narrow in its scope. This was epitomised by the show's infamous rejection of Luke Combs for not being ‘interesting’ enough.
My Kind of Country is aiming to provide a much more inclusive platform for artists attempting to launch their country music careers, with the Apple TV+ series’ objective being to discover ‘diverse and innovative artists from around the world’.
Exemplifying this is the trailblazing country music triumvirate of Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton and Orville Peck. Each has carved out their own lane within country music, infusing traditional styles and sounds with a refreshing, cross-genre sensibility.
My Kind of Country will also feature appearances from executive producers, Reese Witherspoon and Kacey Musgraves.
Taking the helm alongside them is Sara Rea, Lauren Neustadter, Jason Owen, Izzie Pick Ibarra and Katy Mullan.
Adam Blackstone has been recruited as My Kind of Country's music director, having previously fulfilled the role for multi-genre stars such as Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Faith Hill and Alicia Keys.
My Kind of Country premieres on March 24 exclusively on Apple TV+.