Courtesy Heather Hathaway
BLACKFOOT — If you love music and singing, the organizers of the upcoming “Gem State Singer” contest could be looking for you.
“Gem State Singer” is east Idaho’s take on competitions like “American Idol” and “The Voice.” It brings together talented vocalists and gives them a venue to perform in, exposure to an audience and a chance to win cash and prizes.
The “Gem State Singer” performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, on the West Events Stage at the Eastern Idaho State Fair. But those interested in auditioning to sing in the competition can do so right now.
Contest creator and judge Heather Hathaway said she based the concept of “Gem State Singer” on her experiences in similar singing competitions, including the Star Valley, Wyoming-based “The Vocalist” competition, as well as “Idaho Idol” and several rounds of “American Idol” trials.
“‘The Vocalist’ is probably the best experience I’ve had,” Hathaway told EastIdahoNews.com. “So I’ve tried to carry that over to (‘Gem State Singer’). My goal for ‘Gem State Singer’ is to make sure these singers get a lot of exposure, have a good experience and can grow as an artist and a person.”
The “Gem State Singer” live round will be hosted by local radio host Phoenix Cannon and judged by Hathaway, along with “America’s Got Talent” Top 10 finalists Evie Clair and Christina Stutzman. Contestants will have a shot at winning cash and prizes provided by competition sponsors like Doug Andrus Distributing, Leisure Time and House Buyer 208.
To audition, singers can head to the Gem State Singer website and scroll down to the “Audition” section or hit the “Audition” link at the top of the page. There, they can fill out a form and provide a link to a YouTube video of themselves singing. There is a $10 entry fee for all contestants.
Auditions need to be submitted by Saturday, Aug. 27 at 11:59 p.m.
“We’ve heard some awesome auditions already,” Hathaway said. “We will announce the Top 15 and post them to social media and then it will be up to (the singers) to share it and get their family members to like it and comment. Then, the Top 8 with the most likes will move on to the live round.”
Hathaway said that those who may want to join the competition but are feeling some jitters should take a chance and audition.
“I definitely say ‘Go for it,’” she said. “I was always nervous about like ‘What if I don’t get in?’ But if you do, it’s an amazing opportunity! It’s a great way to get your name out there. It’s great exposure. It’s great practice. I think whatever you can get under your belt as a performer and singer is another notch you can have up on other singers and other competitors. It will only make you better.”
You can submit your audition video for “Gem State Singer” now through Saturday, Aug. 27 at 11:59 pm at the “Gem State Singer” website. You can also find more information about the contest rules and format there.
The “Gem State Singer” live round is set for Friday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. on the West Events Stage of the Eastern Idaho State Fair. The show is free and will also be live-streamed for those who can’t attend in person.
Host Phoenix Cannon and judges Heather Hathaway, Christina Stutzman and Evie Clair. Courtesy Heather Hathaway.
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