On April 18th, the season finale of the Ohio Talent Seekers Competition took place at Grandview Heights High School. VMS student Anna Haught competed to win the grand prize of $1000 and an all expenses paid trip to audition for the television talent show of their choice. Anna worked hard at VMS in preparation for the competition, and it showed in her exceptional final performance. We talked to Anna about the competition and her plans for the future! Be sure to subcribe to our monthly newsletter on the homepage of vaughanmusicstudios.com for more stories like these!
How did you first get involved with the Ohio Talent Seekers competition?
I first got involved with the competition by seeing an advertisement for the competition on the online radio station WTMH, a local R&B station. I called the contact number and they set up an audition for me at the radio station.
What was the process like, from audition to final?
The first step was the audition for the show. I sang “Summer Time” and “At Last” live on air at the radio station. Listeners called in and commented on my performance and I was selected to compete in the competition.
The first live round, held at the Davis Performing Arts Center, was only a few days after the audition. I sang the two songs that I sang for the audition. The audience and judges voted on their favorites. The video of the performance was put online and online viewers then voted.
At the second live round, a contestant was eliminated based on least number of votes. At this round I sang two new songs, “Feeling Good” and “Angel”. Voting was like first round.
At the third round, two contestants were eliminated. I had to sing 20 minutes. I sang “Bubbly”, “Black Velvet”, “Beautiful”, “Leave the Pieces”, “I’d Rather Go Blind”, and “House of the Rising Sun”.
After the third round the contestants were narrowed down to the final two, and the two contestants were videotaped showing them in their daily life.
What did you perform at the final? Were you nervous?
In preparation for the finale I had to meet several times with the band, with an eliminated contestant from the show who sang a duet with me, with the Columbus International Children’s’ Choir High School Ensemble who sang the song “Valerie” with me acapella and song the chorus on “Get This Party Started”, and many times with [voice instructor] Cindy Vaughan to get all of my songs ready.
For the finale I had to sing a 45 minute set using a live band and one of the eliminated contestants from the competition. I sang “Get the Party Started”, “Back to Black”, “Glitter in the Air”, “Misery”, “I Put a Spell on You”, “A Change is Gonna Come”, “Valerie”, “Stay”, and “Proud Mary”. At the finale I was nervous before I went on stage but once I was on stage I forgot about it and just had a good time performing after working so hard. Singing my last song, “Proud Mary”, was the most fun that I have ever had on stage.
How did lessons at VMS help you prepare for the competition?
My lessons with Cindy Vaughan made me well prepared for this competition. We first had to work on narrowing songs that I liked down to ones that I thought I could get well prepared by the time of the finale. We also had to work on having a good balance of songs. I tend to like ballads so I had to work with Cindy to force myself to include some up tempo songs as well. I also like old songs more than current stuff. I had to work on finding some current songs that I enjoyed singing. Once we had the songs picked out we started working through the list. At first we only worked on big problems on the songs. As time went by we got pickier on each of the songs and fine tuned them. Then I started working on making each of the songs my own and last we worked on staging of the songs.
What is the next step for you? Which television talent show do you hope to audition for?
At the finale I was given the $1,000 cash prize that night. Since I am only 13 I am not old enough to compete at the next level. The competition drafted a contract for me to delay receipt of rest of my prize (an all expenses paid trip to audition for The Voice and $500 spending money) until I am 15. I will be auditioning for the first round of Ohio Idol on June 7th (you only have to be 12 to compete in this competition, go online at www.ohio-idol.com to register to audition). Auditions are now open for Season Two of the Ohio Talent Seekers’ Competition, go to www.OhioTalentSeekers.com to register to audition (there is no minimum age requirement for the competition).
I have grown so much as a performer since July 2013 when I competed in the first round until now. The competition encouraged me to push myself and work harder at my singing than I would have otherwise. The training and support I received from Cindy made me well prepared for everything the competition threw my way. It was a lot of hard work but I am really glad that I did it. I would say that even if I hadn’t won.