Some were very good. Some could have been better. But one thing they had in common--a lot of nerve.
Dozens of performers, mostly singers, competed for the top prize in an amateur contest at the Crazy Horse Steak House in Santa Ana. They drew the admiration of KIK-FM (94.3) musical director and deejay, Carrie Dunne, who hosted the 15-week event.
"They had a lot of guts to get up there, let me tell you," Dunne said. "I was really impressed over how much they all put into it. We saw and heard some very talented people, [and] the crowds always got into it."
The eventual winner was Jamie Harper, who offered a version of "Blue Moon of Kentucky" that was first gentle, then spirited, Dunne said.
"She was great, she really wrapped her voice around that song. . . . She reminded me a little of LeAnn Rimes." Harper picked up a new Nissan Frontier truck as the grand prize.
The performances were judged by representatives from several Nashville record labels including Giant/Reprise, MCA, Arista-Nashville and Atlantic Records. Other prizes for the finalists ranged from a $300 gift certificate to a leather jacket.
"It was really a good show this year," Dunne said. "There was a real party atmosphere throughout; everybody was a buddy to everybody else. Nobody was booed, not once."