Local vocalists light up the stage in front of judges at weekly talent show, which will resume Saturday night
RIDGEFIELD — One of the toughest jobs in Clark County this past Saturday might have been as a judge for a local talent show at ilani.
The singers were just that strong.
The judges, though, did more than just give their opinion on the vocal talents of the three contestants. They asked questions of the singers, wanting to know their inspirations. Through these interactions, the audience got to know just a little bit more about the performers.
It made Locals Live so much more than just a contest.
Talent shows have taken over American pop culture for the past 20 years, with television productions seemingly debuting a new concept every year.
Now, ilani has joined the act, with a talent show that features performers from Southwest Washington and the Portland area.
Locals Live opened to a strong, energetic crowd on Saturday, and will continue for the next five Saturdays at the Muze Lounge in ilani. The event is organized by ilani and iHeartMedia.
Judges select a weekly winner, and on Nov. 19, the five winners will return to the stage for a “sing-off” to determine a grand champion.
“It was really exciting to see the talent that was here on the Muze stage tonight,” said Tom Teesdale, the vice president of marketing for ilani and one of the three judges. “It’s really amazing to see how much talent we have here in Southwest Washington and the surrounding area. They just did an amazing job. You see the crowd that came out tonight to see the artists perform and cheer them on. It really was an exciting event.”
When: 7 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 19 at Muze Lounge at ilani
What: Singing contest featuring artists from Southwest Washington and the Portland area
Cost: No cover charge but must be 21 or older to enter Muze Lounge
Torrence Shaw, originally from Chicago and now living in Portland, Roshan Ozan Armstrachan of Portland, and Jerrod Neal of Vancouver were the first three contestants for Locals Live.
The judges were so impressed that all three earned $500 for their performances. Still, only one could be selected as the winner, to advance to the finals next month. That was Armstrachan for her renditions of “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” sung in Spanish, and “Be Happy.”
“I am completely humbled,” Armstrachan said. “I’m not competitive unless I’m playing dominoes with my husband. I just like to showcase, and I love meeting people. Whenever I see people on stage, it’s like, ‘I want to be up there with them.’ I just like to collaborate and make beautiful music and bring joy to people.”
True, it is a talent show. It is a competition. But it is a friendly competition.
All three performers were seen cheering and encouraging each other.
“I had a chance to speak with them and feel their energy,” Shaw said of his colleagues.
Neal has been performing in musical theater for years. He said he jumped at the chance to sign up for this event when he heard it was coming to ilani.
“I would definitely do it again if I could,” Neal said.
Shaw performed two songs that he wrote: “Let’s go, it’s my time” and “Marlon Senior’s Song.”
Neal performed “One in a Million” and “Make them hear you.”
Each gave strong performances, then shared compelling personal stories with the judges, with the audience.
Teesdale was joined on the judges’ table by Adeline Martinez, the entertainment manager at ilani, and celebrity judge Tra’Renee Chambers, a television and radio personality known for several media productions in the region. She has a daily show on Jammin’ 107.5.
The judges were into each song, and then they asked to get to know each artist.
Teesdale said that will be the plan for the rest of the Locals Live events. It will be more than just songs. It is about the people singing those songs.
“It’s an opportunity for ilani to show the talent and the voice that they possess, and hopefully give them an opportunity to continue to grow their career,” Teesdale said.
The grand champion will win $5,000 and will headline a show on the same stage that En Vogue, Taylor Dayne, Russell Dickerson and more have performed.
“If ilani and the Cowlitz Indian Tribe can play a role in helping these artists continue to be successful, it’s a great night for everyone,” Teesdale said.
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- Work from two local artists on display at the Rebecca Anstine GalleryRebecca Anstine Gallery showcases vibrant local artwork by Ken Spurlock and Kevin Drake, offering a fusion of abstract and mixed media expressions until November.