SALAMANCA — Those who attended the final round of competition of Southern Tier's Got Talent, held March 2, at the Ray Evans Seneca Theatre got their money's worth of entertainment.
Sponsored by the Cattaraugus County Living Arts Association, the two-hour-long show was a culmination of a series of events which began a month ago on Feb 2 with auditions and two more rounds of competition.
Throughout the event, the number of participants whittled down from an original cast of over 20 participants to Saturday night’s ten finalists.
The inaugural show’s first-place winner for 2019, taking home a cash prize of $300, was Samantha Farner, clearly belting out her rendition of “Bleeding Love” for the judges, who praised the young singer for her diversity.
“It's been a blast,” Farner said of her experience in the competition.
Tim Hollamby recovered from a recent sinus infection and regained his voice just in time for the competition, performing “Unchained Melody” to take second place and a cash prize of $200.
Morgan R. Parnizke won the hearts of the audience, who clapped along with her presentation of “Don't Rain On My Parade,” and won herself a third place cash prize of $100.
Special thanks were extended to all of the volunteers who worked on this show, starting with Skyler Schapp, who did a creative and comedic job as emcee of the three rounds.
Serving as judges were Brett Maybee, Marcia Gallinneaux Hubert, Linda Freaney and Bill Steffen. Judges marked each performer from one to ten on preparation, delivery, stage presence, creativity and overall performance.
Other finalist performers in Saturday night's show included Michael Staley, singing a tribute to his own mother with a rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” with more mom-focused lyrics.
Accompanying herself on the guitar, Laura Friday performed an original song, “Already Down,” with backup accompaniment by Noah Gillman on mandolin and harmonica.
Jessica Ornce performed a country song for the competition called "Did I Shave My Legs For This?" Jeremy Fuller started his vocal performance by playing an introduction on harmonica to “Let Me Be your Lover in the Pale Moonlight.”
Josiah Jenks sang a medley of villain songs from popular Disney movies. His performance was notable because it included participation from other cast members, namely Skyler Schapp, Michael Staley and Jeremy Fuller.
“We came up with the idea at the last minute,” Jenks said.
Izabella Kingsley demonstrated her wide vocal range in her performance of “Someone Like You.” Brianna Blankenship accompanied herself on the guitar while singing a country favorite, “You Ain't Woman Enough to Take My Man.”
While the judges tallied their scores, the audience was treated to additional performances by Skyler Schapp, Madison McClellan, Riley Brown and Dwayne Graham previewing upcoming shows that are holding opening auditions in the coming months.