COOS BAY - Approximately 300 people attended the second round of Got Talent Coos County and Reedsport, held July 18 at the Egyptian Theatre.
Got Talent Coos County is in its second season after spinning off from Bay Area Teen Idol, which ran for 15 successful seasons. The focus of the program is to provide a unique opportunity for youth to compete through stage performance, give life and work skills through the arts, and to promote a healthy lifestyle by being drug, alcohol and tobacco-free.
This year, there are 20 individual competitors and one four-member band.
Elliza West performs during the second round of Got Talent Coos County on July 18 at the Egyptian Theatre in Coos Bay.
"It really never ceases to amaze me at the overwhelming amount of talent that our youth have," said Stephanie Kilmer, general manager of K-DOCK, who organizes the event along with her daughter Krista Kilmer. "This is one of the most serious groups of competitors we have had in many years. And because of that, they bring their very best. The shows they are putting on for the audience are thoughtful, well prepared and exciting."
On July 18, the top six performers included:
Haley Belcher, 16, North Bend High School, who recited an original poem in a poetry slam style.
Amariah Goslin, 14, North Bend High School, who accompanied herself on the piano singing "I See The Light."
Seth Grover, 18, Oregon State University, who accompanied himself on the guitar and sang an original song titled "Joy Everlasting."
Moira O'Bryan, 15, North Bend High School, who performed musical theater, singing Barbra Streisand's "Don't Rain on My Parade."
Aiden Slaska, 16, North Bend High School, who performed musical theater, singing "Evermore" from "Beauty and the Beast."
Makayla Rini, 17, home-schooled, who sang "Jailhouse Rock."
The band SOWR was the People's Choice winner from the first round on June 27. The 2018 winner, Makayla Wingert, performed her Hula-Hoop routines at both shows.
"One of the things we are providing as part of our program is features about each performer," Kilmer said. "In writing these, even I am surprised by their talent. One of the performers only started playing the piano a couple months ago and already she is composing her own music. She accompanies herself as she sings. I know adults who are unable to do this and I am one of them. Our coach and judges are very busy making notes for them to help them improve and they are listening. It is fantastic."
Other contestants include Jaidyn Blackard, Alana Bridges, Alyssa Carlan, Rachel Eickhoff, Jazmine Ford, La'Stacia Lovelady, Rosie Lua, Kylee Malaguti, Kamara Mill, Saleena Rini, Aidan Smith, Hope Stephens, Aina Weaver, Elliza West, Sierra Bell, Oscar Day, Roxy Day and Wyatt Smith.
"We have been able to incorporate new people into the program and that provides another opportunity for young people," Kilmer said. "The show itself is more like a variety of things happening all at once. It lends itself to needing more help backstage. And, we are always looking for help.
"This program's focus is on youth, so we have also been able to work in youth groups such as the July Jubilee princesses and Miss Coos County Program, whether it's ushering, passing out programs or assisting our attendees. I hope they are able to take away things from the program, even if it is just exposure to a different group of people."
Judges include some long-time members of the panel: Madeline Gonsalves, Vincent Cavarra and Michael Brumit. This year's two new judges are Mel Campbell and Jhana Brown.
For Got Talent Coos County, judges score contestants in five different areas: stage presence, technical ability, difficulty of selection or act as well as material chosen, appearance/costume and creativity. Contestants can score a total of 100 points per judge. Each week, the judges may change but the criteria will remain the same. Scores are cumulative. Performers must perform a new piece for each show. There are no eliminations.
Contestants compete for a $5,000 prize purse, which includes cash, tuition to Southwestern Oregon Community College and merchant certificates.
The next show is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Egyptian Theatre. Admission is $3, underwritten by Banner Bank, South Coast Family Denistry and Fred Meyer. The Egyptian Theatre will be selling concessions. The final performance will be Sept. 19.
For more information, visit www.coostalent.com or call 541-269-0929.