Five are finalists

Rising Star of Tennessee will be chosen Friday

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Fourteen talented singers took the stage at First United Methodist Church, Maryville, on Friday, June 1, to compete in the first Rising Star of Tennessee competition, hoping to make the final five.

Judges offered feedback to each contestant at the fund raiser, the brain-child of Jeff Hutchison of Patch Ministries, and the audience and judges all voted to narrow the field to five. The five finalists will compete Friday, June 8, at the church, and a winner will be announced at the end of the competition.

Like the preliminary round, both the professional judges and the audience will have a say in who takes home the top prize package, worth more than $2,500 in goods and services. The professional judges’ votes count for 25 percent, with audience ballots contributing 75 percent. Each audience member must vote for three contestants.

Judges were Charlie Jackson, worship leader at Impact Church; Kate Borders, associate director of HIS Kids Sports; and Patrick Bledsoe, a music producer.

The excitement was high Friday night as the 14 contestants sang their songs. Type and style of music varied, and the judges offered professional comments geared to both encourage and instruct the participants. An appreciative audience was generous with their applause and the festive atmosphere made for a fun evening.

For the preliminary round, the five finalists were announced on Monday, June 4, but for the final round, the ballots will be collected and the winner announced the night of the finals.

Tickets for the show are $10 and are available at the door. Each ticket holder gets a ballot and can vote for his or her favorite at the end of the show. For information on the show and tickets, call Jeff at 865-681-0583.

The five finalists will each perform two songs at the finals. Finalists are listed in alphabetical order with each person’s name and the song they sang in the preliminary round. For profiles of all the contestants, visit the Blount Today website at and click on Rising Star of Tennessee.

  • Karen Betts, "The More I Seek You"
  • Katie McCroskey, "One Moment More"
  • Clara Musick, "Think of Me"
  • Molly Rochelson, "Black horse and the Cherry Tree"
  • Martrel Siler, "Listen"

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