Sunday marked round one of the Colgate Country Showdown. If you've been reading along you probably already know that I was selected as one of 15 preliminary competitors for the Showdown after submitting a demo tape to my local radio station - you can read about all that here and here.
So what took place during the prelims? Well first off I was selected to go first - awesome. At 1:oo p.m I was the first competitor to take the stage with my cowboy boots, guitar, and well planned out "contemporary country" outfit. Strangely I wasn't nervous as I moved through my three song set which included two covers and an original song. I had contemplated doing all originals but at the last minute decided to throw the covers in and in doing so made probably one of the best decisions I could have.
While the Colgate Country Showdown is an all-around talent competition that focuses on overall musicality and marketabililty with the vocals only counting for one part of the score, it became incredibly apparently that these judges were looking at it much differently. They were looking for the dreaded, cliche, played out "karaoke queen" What is a karaoke queen? She's that girl with a fairly good voice that perfectly mimics every nuiance and run of the original artist without injecting any personality and real talent into her performance. And I have a sinking suspision after seeing the eight finals selections that that is what the judges at this competition may want.
There were two girls in particular that while they had nice voices should never have been chosen over the true-blue, Montana rancher that was one of the best songwriters I have ever heard or the sweet newlywed who wrote a song for his wife. I was the only girl with a guitar in the competition and while I was told that my original was "radio ready" (best compliment ever), I don't think they want a girl with a guitar.
I can belt with the best of them but should I put down my guitar and sellout to make it to state? I don't think so. So In two weeks when I take the stage again I'll bring my guitar with me whether that's a wise decision or not because I know that it's me and it's real talent. And if I don't make it, well there's another local 100 miles down the road in four weeks - maybe those judges will be looking for a whole package and maybe I can be that whole package.