“We wanted the 12 who were chosen to not be well-known talent. We wanted to give them a shot to step out into the spotlight and share their talents with the community,” said Corinne Freeman, Starfish program director with BICC. “We also would like to see the community support their work and dedication to their performance [by attending].”
More than 20 acts auditioned for the opportunity to perform in the talent show.
“Some of them just really blew us away. We were so thankful we were not the judges because it would be so hard to choose between some of them,” Freeman said. “What we tried to do was select them based on two things: their type of performance and stage presence.”
The 12 finalists chosen are comprised of five vocalists, three groups, two dancers and two pianists. Each talent was looked at for their skill, as well as what they would bring to the show. Freeman said a talent’s stage performance could mean winning the $500 grand prize.
“A part of the judging process is the audience response. If they really seem to enjoy an act, there will be a spot on the card for the judges to place a mark,” Freeman said. “As we said all along, we are looking for their stage presence and their relationship with the community.”
Judges for the talent show will include Connie Gatlin, with more than 20 years of performing arts experience; Jermaine Purifory, a previous “American Idol” contestant and Lee University alumnus; and Melissa Woody, vice president of the Convention and Visitors’ Bureau for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce.
Differences can also be seen between similar talents.
“One of the dancers has a really upbeat routine and the other is very soulful with a passionate display,” Freeman said.
The two pianists have also set themselves apart from each other.
“They have the same talents, but they put their own slant on the performance with their individual artistic skills,” Freeman said.
The three groups are comprised of a singing quartet, a family of six who go by the name Third Generation and a band of students from Cleveland High School.
Freeman had only positive remarks for the new talent.
“[The CHS students] formed their own band and they practice independently of school and their other clubs they are involved in,” Freeman said. “They just recently added a lead vocalist and they wrote an original song [used in auditions].”
According to Freeman, Third Generation will perform a simple song accompanied with a narration.
“They are going to share a very neat story. We thought it was a unique idea to present something we are all very familiar with in a brand new way,” Freeman said.
The talent show will be held at Bradley Central High School’s Fine Arts Center at 7 p.m. April 5. Doors will open at 6 p.m.
All tickets currently cost $8. The price will rise to $12 at the door the night of the event. According to Freeman, the 600 tickets available are going fast. These tickets can be bought at the Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Bradley County and the BICC offices at 2810 Westside Drive N.W., Suite E.
Only cash and checks are accepted at the Chamber of Commerce and United Way. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted at the BICC offices. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.bicc-inc.org.
Children age 5 and under do not need a ticket. They will not be ensured a seat and will have to sit on an adult’s lap. Freeman said a ticket must be purchased to ensure a child 5 and younger has a seat.
Freeman stressed the talent show is designed to be a family-friendly event.
“We feel we are starting out with a really awesome show. We are going to make this a community event,” Freeman said. “We do plan to make this an annual event, so families can be excited about this every year. They can see it every year get bigger and better.”
Family photos will be available in the lobby of the Fine Arts Center. A $5 fee will be charged for the picture and on-site printing. Additional information about BICC’s Starfish program will also be available.
Starfish is an early childhood in-home education program, according to Freeman. She said program workers see families on a monthly and bimonthly basis to bring information and help support parents in their roles as caregivers.
Additional information on the talent show can be found by visiting the BICC website.