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.
2nd Place - Faith Wright, 9, competed with a gymnastics routine.
3rd Place - Mikayla Hunt, 14, sang "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack.
4th Place - Kyle Pudenz, 16, played two songs on his violin.
“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.”