Talent show finalists fight for custom guitar

Ponoka Stampede’s talent show winners have been selected.

Jamie Woodfin

Jamie Woodfin

Ponoka Stampede’s talent show winners have been selected.

Cassidy Zahar, Amy Metcalfe, Taylor Zimmer, Tanya Ryan, Jamie Woodfin, Shalaine Hancik, Don Swift, Alex Dion, Tevra Plamondon and duo Deanna and Jennifer Henderson are this year’s Ponoka Stampede top 10 finalists.

Judging this year were Tera Lee, award winning radio personality, Abbey White, program director at CKGY, and Dr. Glen Chidlow, local chiropractor and musical influence.

This year’s prizes include a custom-made guitar by Dave Gilmore, $500 cash that can be put toward a demo recording and a song-writing session with Duane Steele.

The top 10 finalists will perform at the Stampede on June 27. There the judges will chose the top two contestants. The one proclaimed victor will have their pick of the prizes, leaving the other to the second-place winner.

The group of hopefuls who were not chosen as finalists included a charmingly self-deprecating comedian, an autodidact guitar player, and a man who urged the audience to get up and two-step.

First to perform, and the youngest contestant, was nine-year-old wunderkind Jase Nelson. Nelson has been singing since the age of four, and dreaming of New York and Broadway just as long.

While he wasn’t named a finalist, this will be the third year he performs in Windows of the Past at the Calgary Stampede.

Since age four, Nelson has had 217 bookings.

During the first night of the talent show, three of the 22 musicians were named top 10 finalists. From the second night three of 25 were chosen. Over the weekend the judges’ four wildcards were picked.

The audience from both nights was also scoring the performers and picking out their favorites long before the night was over.

This talent show seems to be a good place to start a career if you’re looking to hit it big. Both Gord Bamford and Shane Yellowbird were once participants, as well as Adam Gregory.

By Amelia Naismith