Texaco Country Showdown hunts for talent in ToledoWritten by Emily Gibb | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Country radio station 107.7 The Wolf and Toledo Free Press are hosting a local singing competition as one of the first steps of the 30th annual Texaco Country Showdown.
Contestants have an opportunity to join the contest’s storied history, which includes past winners and finalists LeAnn Rimes, Garth Brooks, John Michael Montgomery, Ricky Travino, Chris Young, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus and Sara Evans.
Local competitions are taking place in every state in the continental U.S. After that winners will compete in state competitions and then move on to one of five regional competitions. Winners from the five regional competitions will move on the national finals at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., to compete for a $100,000 prize.
Interested performers can pick up an entry form at the 107.7 studio, 720 Water St. or find one online at www.1077wolf.com.
Each contestant’s entry form, audio demo and $20 entry fee is due by May 16 and can be dropped off or mailed to the station or emailed to email@example.com.
Individuals and groups of up to seven people are invited to enter.
“I would encourage everyone who really enjoys it, enjoys singing, to give it a try,” said Laura Hart, general manager of 107.7. “If they don’t have a demo, give us a call anyway. We don’t want to scare anyone away from participating.”
To help make the entry process as easy as possible, the station will walk contestants through the forms if they have any questions, she said. All they have to do is call and the station will be happy to help.
“We don’t want anyone to miss an opportunity,” Hart said.
Country Showdown contacted the station about hosting a local contest.
“They liked the market size. They thought Toledo had a lot of talent,” Hart said.
She sent letters to prospective judges with musical experience from a variety of backgrounds, such as music teachers, instead of local dignitaries, she said.
Hart said that it’s exciting to be a part of the country music scene and showcase local talent who has a real shot at gaining national exposure.
“This is a very musical town. There’s a lot going on,” she said. “Being a new station, we’re hoping this furthers the ties with the community.”
Hart said the odds are good that the winner from this area could continue on in the competition past the state and regional rounds — the Toledo winner has a one in eight chance of winning the state round.
Even if he, she or they lose at the state level, Toledo’s winning act will receive an autographed guitar from Jason Aldean.
“[Toledo’s] just a great city with great people and the radio station there is wonderful and we wanted them to be a part of this and they wanted to bring it to their community,” said Steve Edwards, Country Showdown’s regional producer.
“Every year, we give thousands of people the opportunity to have their dream to compete in front of the family and friends and community and we provide a great experience to do that,” Edwards said.
Unlike “American Idol” or other talent shows, Country Showdown judges won’t harshly critique contestants for a laugh.
“We have always taken a great deal of pride in making sure all of our contests are treated fairly and with respect,” Edwards said. “Regardless of whether they win or lose, we want them to walk away with a great experience.”
Tags: 107.7 The Wolf, Billy Ray Cyrus, Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Garth Brooks, John Michael Montgomery, LeAnn Rimes, Martina McBride, Miley Cyrus, Ricky Travino, Sara Evans, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Texaco Country Showdown