Nearly 50 auditioned for the Third Annual Cortez Idol competition in January. On Wednesday, the top three contestants will vie for $1,000 in cash.
Held at Blondie’s Trophy Room on Main Street, the championship round of the karaoke-style competition starts at 7 p.m. Subject to both a panel of judges and audience votes, either Mary Hess, Tiffany Marie or Rhed Leonard will be crowned and take home $1,000.
Best advice: Arrive early. Throughout the 10-week competition, tables at the bar and restaurant have filled quickly, resulting in a standing room only crowd.
Described by judges as “creative,” Hess has cashed-in on her musical talents, utilizing a guitar to enhance her performances.
Marie, a bit more shy, has “ripped out of her shell” as the contest has progressed.
And Leonard, a more seasoned performer, has been “entertaining” and “fun to watch” week after week.
Branden Miller, a local brew master and 2014 Cortez Idol winner, had previously sung in the shower and car, but never on stage prior to entering last year.
“Getting up on stage, it’s tough,” Miller said.
Modeled after the hit television show “American Idol,” a four-judge panel scores competitors on musicality, originality, stage presence, crowd appeal and marketability.
Prizes will also be awarded to second and third place winners, and the competition also includes an award for most improved singer.