Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus top choices for talent show contestants

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | 12:26 a.m. CDT; updated 8:16 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Bill Tempel, left, of Columbia, videotapes his son Nathan, 8, during his performance at the Boone County Fair Talent Show Junior Division. Nathan has been singing since age 3.

COLUMBIA — A large crowd cheered for friends and family members who competed Tuesday night at the Boone County Fair Junior Division Talent Show; acts included singing, dancing, playing guitar, fiddling, twirling, gymnastics and clogging.

Ashlee Frazier, a sixth-grader at Harrisburg Elementary, won the first place blue ribbon and $100 in prize money. She sang “Tim McGraw” by Taylor Swift, an artist who was popular among other vocal acts of the night, as well as Miley Cyrus.

“I’ve always liked that song,” Frazier said. “I’m a big fan of Taylor Swift.”

Frazier has been singing for about five years. This was her first year to participate in the fair’s talent show. She said her mother encouraged her to compete since it was a good opportunity to perform in front of a large crowd. Her mother, Dawn Jones, said it was the largest she had ever performed for.

Despite the large crowd, Frazier wasn’t too nervous until she got backstage.

“I just pictured everybody in their underwear,” Frazier said. “That’s what they told me to do.”

The talent show began at 8 p.m., and awards were given out at 10:15 p.m. after 22 acts.

The talent show was open to contestants under 16. The youngest contestant was Nathan Tempel, an 8-year-old who sang “Thy Word” by Amy Grant. He has been singing since he was 3.

An applause meter judged contestants; the louder the audience applauded after an act the more points the contestant received. There was also a panel of judges watching in case of a tie.

“We’ve never had an applause meter,” said Denise Nelson, talent show co-chairwoman and emcee. “We decided to this year to bring in more friends and family.”

Nelson said she has been preparing for almost two months for the show. This is her ninth year of working with the show.

“We do it to draw people to the fair,” Nelson said. “And the kids love to perform, we always have a great response to the junior talent show.”

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Cindy Mutrux July 22, 2009 | 7:38 a.m.

Didn't know one person in the talent show. Thought each child did a wonderful job. Just feel it should be limited to Boone county kids only. Time should be 7:00 rather then 8:00 for the working people.

(Report Comment)
Steve Wright July 22, 2009 | 9:59 a.m.

If you limit kids in the talent show to Boone County residents only then you should also lock the front gates and not take entrance money , concessions, or any other support that comes from out of county.
The local kids definitely had the advantage anyway as the so called "Applause Meter" was used and there was definitely many more local people to yell and scream for their favorite.
I would like to see this kept as an actual "Talent Competition" and not a popularity contest. Please bring back judges who will honestly assess the talent and pick the most talented child to win. Thanks!!

(Report Comment)
Steve Wright July 22, 2009 | 10:04 a.m.

I would also like to comment that the chidren who finished in the top 4 were great choices but I still feel judges are the best bet. It would also be great to start an hour earlier next year for the kids!!

(Report Comment)

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