The Rising Star of East Tennessee contest is a step closer to crowning two new champions. The semi-finals in the adult and youth divisions of the talent show were held on April 18 and 19 at Monte Vista Baptist Church in Maryville.
Adult semifinalists are:
• Perry Bonck
• Ja’Nett Brabson
• John Dando
• John Lichlyter
• Christina Loveday
Semifinalists in the Youth division are:
• Alli Bradley,
• Jordan Davis
• Laurel Dunn
• Haley Roach
• Mallory Tucker
Master of ceremonies for the talent competition is Jeff Hutchison, executive director of Patch Ministries.
“It was awesome. We had a really good turnout for both performances. It was really hard to judge,” Hutchison said. “There’s a lot of talent in this area.”
Hutchison said there were contestants from as far away as Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, north of Knoxville and some entries who didn’t make it into the semi-finals came from as far away as the Carolinas. The criteria were singing quality - the skill and craft of singing,” he said. “Everyone was great. Playing host, I was blown away just listening.”
The format borrows from the “American Idol” phenomenon in that there are three judges, but the audience also votes and helps determine the winner. Contestants must be present to win, said Hutchison.
The finals for both divisions of Rising Star of East Tennessee are at 7 p.m. Friday night April 25, at Monte Vista Baptist Church. The finalists will perform one song each and the judging will be conducted the same as on previous nights.
All paid attendees get a ballot to vote for their top three performers. On this night the results will be tallied live and the grand prize package will be awarded at the end of the night.
Money raised from the event supports Patch Ministries, an organization dedicated to eliminated unsafe and unsanitary housing in Blount County. Patch Ministries is supported through private and corporate tax-deductible donations.