Thirteen Week Competition at Stables Leaves Lasting Impression
Talented Competitors Make Late Nights & Long Hours Worth the Effort For MBC
December 9, 2007
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By: O. J. Cunningham
Micah Read had everybody standing when he finished his "Final Five" rendition of the "House of the Rising Sun" at Stables last Wednesday night.
Read's passion for his music was never more evident. Read has a wild, almost unruly delivery in the Joe Cocker tradition. In his final performance, Read busted four strings on his guitar and had his forehead covered in sweat by the time he was finished with the classic Animal's song.
It was a dramatic, "lay it on the line" performance by a 27 year-old guitar player/singer that wanted it more than the rest. Read has charisma. When Read sings . . . people stop talking and listen.
Read's performances at Stables during the 13-week competition demanded attention from the patrons of Stables. Heads turned. Patrons in the back sat up straight and looked toward the stage. "Who's that?" they asked.
It was that performance strength that earned Micah Read the top prize at the Michigan's Got Talent competition.
Read was always near the top (or on top) of the on-line voting tallies during the last nine weeks. Voters might have had their own personal "favorite," but more than likely they included Read in their top three when they cast their ballot.
On-Line Voting - Ballot Results - Final Week Totals - Top 15 Finalists
Gina DeShano & Mike Mathis
Amy & Lauren Thomas
Approximately 6,200 Votes Counted Between 11/29/07 & 12/5/07
14.85% Bridgette Ballor
14.55% Micah Read
12.56% Kathy James
9.65% Lauren Thomas
9.49% Branded Heart (Group)
8.27% Gwen Kolbiaz
6.74% Amy Thomas
5.05% Janie Thomas
3.52% Jessica Rex
2.76% Kate Gembrowski
2.60% John Howley
2.60% Gina DeShano
2.45% Keagan Cerny
2.45% Karen Powell
2.45% Sarah Jane
The Final Fifteen - They Were All Winners
Bridgette Ballor - Everyone's favorite! In the Finals, Bridgette filled the room with her young, almost angelic voice. In thirteen weeks of competition, we all watched Bridgette change from a sometimes timid little girl into a confident young lady. I hope I get to see her perform again. I wanted to see her in the "Final Five."
Branded Heart (Group)- These girls understand harmony and the art of singing "together." Country, ballad or 40's show tunes, Branded Heart "rocks." Deb, Juice, Janie and Sarah - Thanks for the great performances.
Keagan Cerny - Ahhhh, sweet youth. Thirteen years old with guts and talent and confidence. Keagan had fun singing and his smile and charm won over all our hearts. Come back again, Keagan.
Gina DeShano -Showed up in week twelve and dazzled the judges. Her first song (My Give-a-Damn's Busted) turned every head in the Stables and earned her a spot in the Finals. Great on-stage presence. If she had performed eight weeks for the judges, she might have won it all.
Kate Gembrowski - This perky teen-aged (17yrs) phenom from Mt. Pleasant High School finished 2nd to Steve Armstrong in the summer "Idol" competition and 2nd to Micah Read in the current Michigan's Got Talent. Kate is no "runner-up." Kate has it all. Talent, beauty, charm, poise and on-stage charisma.
John Howley - John likes to be in front of the crowd. John has a wonderful voice and loves to entertain. It was a shame that he was not available to perform in the Finals last Wednesday.
Sarah Jane - When Sarah Jane sings, there is a mesmerizing quality about her performance. When Sarah Jane smiles, she can make your heart skip a beat. She impressed the judges and the crowd with her style and her talent. A deserving "Top 5."
Kathy James - Kathy is an extraordinary Harmonica player. Her blues sound was never better when she played "Steam-Roller Blues" accompanied on vocals by Doug Dore. And who will ever forget the night Orland (husband) took center-stage to tell us all a little "story." What wonderful people!
Gwen Kolbiaz - I was surprised when Gwen didn't make the "Final Five." Gwen fills the room with her voice and works the crowd with her eyes and well-polished song delivery. I hope I get to hear her sing again soon.
Karen Powell - Karen Powell has a voice and a delivery that is wonderful to watch and listen to. Karen sings locally with the "Mysterians" on a regular basis and has been a solid performer in both the "Idol" competition this summer and the "Talent" that just concluded. A deserving "Final Five" finisher.
Micah Read -Micah Read is a 27-year-old accomplished musician. His wild and uninhibited "Joe Cocker" singing style made him one of the favorites at Stables during the "Talent" competition. I had him number one on my ballot. I'll never forget his "Duet With Kermit." I want to hear more Micah Read.
Jessica Rex - Jessica Rex "morphed" into a beautiful young lady during the 13 weeks of "Talent" competition. New haircut. New look. Such a pretty voice . . . Jessica always asked me to make sure she looked good in my videos of her performance - It was always easy to make Jessica Rex look good.
Amy Thomas -Amy Thomas was my favorite from the first night I heard her sing. Something about her voice. I love it. I was surprised that she didn't make the "Final Five." The night she sang "Dreams" (Stevie Nicks - Fleetwood Mac) "Thunder Only Happens When It's Raining" - I figured she was a shoe-in for the Final Five. I hope I get to hear more Amy Thomas in the near future.
Lauren Thomas - Amy's (Above) daughter - In case you didn't know that. Well, the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Lauren has a powerful voice and an animated song delivery that earned her a spot in the "Final Five." She went for . . . and hit . . . all the big notes in a list of very difficult and sophisticated song titles. I think it was her on-stage presence along with this "courage" that set her apart from some of the other, more cautious performances.
Janie Thomas - Week after week, Janie Thomas just took the microphone in hand and sang beautifully with the most fascinating twinkle in her eye. Every performance was right on the money. Whether singing with Branded Heart or solo, Janie was always at the top of her game.
They say the Stables already has plans for another "Talent" competition beginning on Wednesday January 9th.
Will MyBayCity be there? You Can Count on It!
Ivan Miller and Art Dore
Enthusiastic about sponsoring the next Michigan's Got Talent beginning in January, Ivan Miller, CEO of Executive Mortgage of Michigan shares his excitement with Art Dore.
Ray Stack (Right) of Silver Sand Limo
MyBayCity On-line voting Sponsor, Ray Stack of Silver Sand Limo was on-site for the Finals. "This is a great event," Stack said. "I'm happy to be a part of it."
Frank York (York Electric) and Bill Vogel (Supreme Carpet)
Frank York and Bill Vogel were "in the house" and enjoying the night. "We're here to support a few of the competitors that sang at our Nathan Weidner Foundation Chicken Barbecue this past summer."