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Winners showcase talent in 'Fort Scott Idol' contest

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fort Scott Idol contestants showcased their talents last week in front of a sold-out crowd, chairwoman Millie Lipscomb said on Monday.

An estimated 650 people attended the May 31 event at Memorial Hall auditorium.

"It was wonderful," Lipscomb said. "We get a lot of volunteers to help make it happen and it was just great."

Idol kicked off the annual Good Ol' Days street festival and carnival, which ran through Saturday.

Modeled after the popular television show "American Idol," Fort Scott Idol featured 30 contestants from Fort Scott and surrounding areas.

Contestants received critiques and praise and nine took home cash prizes.

Winfield Scott Elementary School music teacher Mary Jo Harper and Spencer Lee, a singer-songwriter from Fort Scott, now living in Los Angeles, were the two judges tasked with naming the winners.

Addi Brown, Fort Scott, won the 18-and-older age category for her rendition of the Etta James classic "At Last." Brown, a returning performer, won high praise from Harper for her version.

Former Idol winner Felisha Sweat of Pleasanton took second place in the same age category.

Third place went to Shawn LaSota of Franklin.

Gabby Gire of Sheldon won first place for her performance in the 14-17-year-old category. Gire has performed in Fort Scott Idol all seven years the competition has been in existence. Sixteen-year-old Chris Allen, Fort Scott, netted second place for his performance and guitar prowess. Third place went to Jennifer McFarland, of Moundville, Mo.

In the 11-13-year-old-category, Fort Scott's Mason Moore won first place for his performance of the Bruno Mars song, "Grenade."

Alexis Kendrick, Fort Scott, received second place, and Morgan Michael of McCune got third place.

First-place winners in each age category were awarded a $125 cash prize; second-place winners got $75; and third place received $50.

Returning emcees for the event were local residents Kale Nelson and Larry Gazaway.

Special performances were given by Lee, Taylor Watkins and Crystal Doucet.

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