David Archuleta | EastIdahoNews.com file photo
AFTON, Wyoming — Attention, singers! Now is your chance to win yourself some prize money and perform for David Archuleta in the process!
Auditions are now open for “The Vocalist: Presented by Fall River Propane.” This singing competition will be held during the Lincoln County Fair in Afton, Wyoming on Aug. 9. Auditions for the event are open now.
“The Vocalist” is open to singers 12 years of age or older. Eight contestants will vie for a $10,000 grand prize. If that’s not motivation enough, double platinum-selling recording artist David Archuleta will be serving as one of the competition’s on-stage judges.
The contest has come quite a ways since it started five years.
“It’s been pretty cool to watch it grow,” said Duke Dance with SVI Media, the company producing the contest. “When we started this in 2016, we didn’t have any intention of making it what it is now. We just wanted to be part of a local community event, so we put together a singing contest that had a $500 prize with local judges, local singers and it was kind of a little podunk karaoke contest.”
“The Vocalist” may have started small, but it’s grown organically, year by year. Now it’s grown into one of the biggest singing competitions in the region. The contest attracted sponsors, like Fall River Propane, interested in helping to stage the show and now draws singers from all across the country.
“We have auditions from all over the country,” Dance said. “Last year, I think our farthest audition was from Georgia but they come in from California and all over the West. Most of our contestants are from Utah, Idaho and Wyoming but anyone can audition.”
This competition is styled similar to the “America’s Got Talent” format, with two rounds of performances and audience voting via text to determine who advances from the first to the second round. Audience voting will also determine the winning singer after the second round of performances.
The show also features a panel of judges to help grade the performances. Along with Archuleta, the 2021 panel also features 2020 “Vocalist” champ, Keiyanna Osmond and long-time “Vocalist judge Shelby Thatcher. While this is Archuleta’s first year judging the contest, singer Alex Boye served as a “Vocalist” judge in 2019 and 2020.
In addition to the prize money, winning “The Vocalist” brings exposure to new audiences, especially in the Intermountain West region.
“For example, our 2019 winner was Josh Jardine and he was a singer but not really a performer and nobody knew he sang,” said Dance. “After winning ‘The Vocalist,’ he gets asked to sing at all kinds of different events and venues and he actually even released an album with his own original music and it’s all because of winning ‘The Vocalist.’ So it certainly does, in the local area, give some clout to the winner and opens up doors on the local level.”
So if you’re a singer who’s looking to get some exposure, searching for a chance to get your foot in the door, auditioning for “The Vocalist” could be a good first step in that direction. Auditions are open now through 10 a.m. on May 7 and no late entries will be considered. Visit “The Vocalist” website or Facebook page for information about the contest and to audition.
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