Contest seeks singers

NANAIMO - Singers can sign up to compete in Country Idol at the Queens starting Tuesday (Dec. 22).

Singers can test their vocal prowess during the upcoming Country Idol.

The competition, now in its second year, gives contestants a chance to perform with a live band and win prizes.

Tina Coldwell, owner of TLC Entertainment and idol producer, said in most singing contests the participants sing along to a recorded track, but during Country Idol singers will perform with The Boothill Boys.

“It’s not as romantic as performing with the band,” she said about singing to tracks. “It’s an experience to play with a live band. It’s cool to hear.”

She said the band has to learn new songs every week depending on what the contestants choose. Coldwell said they are “really supportive” of the singers.

The Boothill Boys are a contemporary country band with members Lindsay Martell, Duncan Symonds, Alan Medcalf, Todd Sacerty and Trevor Manuel.

First prize is $500, plus the winner gets to perform during The George Canyon Show at the Queen’s on Feb. 10. Coldwell said that the opportunity to sing with a major country act is “a pretty huge deal” for some performers.

Second prize is $200 and a gift certificate from Catwalk Fashions. Third place receives singing lessons and consulting from Shelly Beeston, founder of The SoundGarden in Coombs.

This year there is a fan favourite prize. That winner receives two tickets to see Live at the Hard Rock Café in Vancouver and a one-night stay in a hotel. Winners will be chosen by a panel of celebrity judges.

The audience also gets a chance to vote and those votes are being thrown into the mix.

People can sign up to participate today (Dec. 22) and Dec. 29 at the Queen’s, 7-9 p.m. The contest is open to people ages 15 and up; however, participants under 19 must have a guardian. The entry fee is $20. If people can’t make the sign-up they can pick up an application and rule guidelines at the Queen’s or e-mail

Country Idol is presented by TLC Entertainment and Humdinger Entertainment at the Queen’s Jan. 4, 11, 18 and 24 from 8:30-11 p.m.

The semifinal, on Feb 2, and finale, on Feb. 3, start at 8:30 p.m. but may run later into the evening than 11 p.m. Admission is $6. Contestants will receive two-for-one entry tickets to bring friends and family.