Brooklyne Baird sings Some Where Over The Rainbow during the Salina’s Got Talent competition at the Stiefel Theatre. (photo by Tom Dorsey / Salina Journal) | Buy Journal Photos

salina’s got talent – people’s choice winner

salina’s got talent

Timeri Herrington sings a broadway tune Thursday night at the Stiefel Theatre during the Salina’s Got Talent competition. (photo by Tom Dorsey / Salina Journal)

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They’ve got talent

By CHRIS HUNTER Salina Journal
While the talent came from across the state, one of Salina’s own took home first in the second annual Salina’s Got Talent contest Thursday at the Stiefel Theatre.

Sitting on a stool as she belted out the words to Lady Antebellum’s “Never Alone,” Salina South’s Courtney Irwin sang her way into the hearts of judges Loren Banninger, Rob Northcutt and Carolyn Wedel in front of more than 200 people.

“I love Lady Antebellum and saw them in concert last year,” Irwin said. “I saw the song on my friend’s iPod and said, ‘This is it.’ I like the song and that is how this came about.”

The competition was split into a younger division and adult division this year. The Stiefel will host the adult version of the contest next Thursday.

Irwin said she competed in last year’s competition, but did not fare well.

“Having my family and friends was very nerve-wracking,” Irwin said. “It was easier this year. I was a lot more confident.”

Irwin’s confidence paid off as she edged McPherson’s basketball dribbling sensation Taylor Robertson for first. Irwin followed Robertson.

For winning first, Irwin took home $300.

“I was shocked and not expecting it,” Irwin said. “There was so much young talent here. I had an advantage since I have been singing awhile, but there is a lot of talent coming out of Salina in a couple years.”

Northcutt said he was also surprised by the talent, having only judged adults last year.

“I was amazed and blown away,” Northcutt said. “I can’t believe the ages of these kids. It was difficult to make a decision. I would like to have given a lot of people first, second and third.”

The decision was tough for the judges, who awarded third place to Ingrid Herrenbruck and Damion Cooper, both of Salina.

“I am glad I was not a judge,” said Jane Gates, Stiefel Theatre executive director. “I thought it was fantastic.”

Brooklyne Baird, 5, of Salina, was chosen as people’s favorite through an online poll of audition videos on the Salina Journal’s website.

The contest is sponsored by the Salina Journal and the Stie-fel Theatre.

While the contest was called Salina’s Got Talent, Gates said the competition was regional with people coming from Stockton and Andover to perform.

Austin said she looks forward to future talent contests at the Stiefel.

“It has taken on a life of its own,” Gates said. “We do so many big shows and so many famous people come here, and this is what we need to be featuring at this theater. This is a show not to miss.”

nReporter Chris Hunter can be reached at 822-1422 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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