At the end of an afternoon featuring youthful new takes of classic songs by Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Adele, emcee Matt Cordell from Showplace Theater announced Tate Roberts as the overall champion of the first Smoky Mountain Sing Off at NASCAR SpeedPark Smoky Mountains.
Roberts, from Townsend, who channeled Garth Brooks during “Friends in Low Places” walked away with the $150 cash prize, a photo shoot with Gage Models and Talent Agency, a recording session from Sound Biscuit Productions and tickets to NASCAR SpeedPark.
Sevierville natives Chelse Vega and Katelyn Hedrick took first place in the senior and junior divisions, respectively. Vega who sang Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” will have the opportunity to schedule a show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Pigeon Forge. Likewise, Hedrick will get a performance at Country Tonite Theatre. Cordell was so impressed with quality of the singers that he also extended an offer for the winners to perform at his theater.
Other winners included Stacia Stonebrook from Knoxville and Rebecca Wiggins from Lenoir City in the senior division and Tristan LaBorde from Gatlinburg and Ethan Vincil from Lenoir City in the junior division.
The reining Miss Tennessee 2017 Caty Davis surprised contestants and the audience by kicking off the show with a breathtaking rendition of the national anthem. She also signed autographs and later performed Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”
Smoky Mountain Sing Off youth vocal competition was added to NASCAR SpeedPark’s annual Sevier County Days celebration on November 4 to give young artists a chance to showcase their voices for friends, family and the community.
“Our first Smoky Mountain Sing Off was a huge success thanks to all the incredibly talented young people who participated,” said Marlene Danko, competition director. “We appreciate the generosity of our sponsors and the judges and volunteers for giving their time and are looking forward to next year’s competition already.”