'Idol' runner-up taking another stab at reality TV

Former "American Idol" runner-up Diana DeGarmo is about to embark on another reality show rat race, and this time, her Southern roots will no doubt be an asset.

The Snellville native is going country for a new CMT show called, fittingly, "Gone Country." Undoubtedly patterned after MTV's similarly themed hit "Celebrity Rap Superstar," it will be hosted by Big and Rich's John Rich - of "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" fame - and is set to air in January, according to a CMT press release.

"I'm behind her 100 percent," said her mother, Brenda DeGarmo. "All I can say is that Diana has done country in the past, so I think her chances are pretty good."

DeGarmo will be up against competitors from every conceivable genre, from hip-hop has-beens Sisqo and Bobby Brown to Twisted Sister rocker Dee Snider and stomach-stapled Beach Boy offspring Carnie Wilson. There's even a Brady in the mix, and she's no stranger to celebreality - VH1's Celebrity Fit Club veteran Maureen McCormick will also take part.

The mismatched musicians will shack up in a Nashville mansion for two weeks while they collaborate with some of the city's finest songwriters and assimilate into the genre's lifestyle, both onstage and off.

At the end of their crash course in country, the winner, as determined by Rich, will record and release a single.

DeGarmo first rose to fame in 2004 as a finalist on the third season of "Idol," eventually finishing second to Fantasia Barrino. She was a 16-year-old junior at Shiloh High School at the time. DeGarmo just finished a stint on Broadway as Penny Pingleton in the hit musical "Hairspray."