Vail Valley Has Talent comp continues in Eagle |

Vail Valley Has Talent comp continues in Eagle

Daily staff report
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

EAGLE – By the time the first four singers had taken the stage it was apparent that the Back Bowl’s “Vail Valley Has Talent” competition was living up to everything owner Joe Gonzalez had hoped for: To showcase some of the musical talent he suspected is present in the valley.

With two rounds of auditions and two rounds of eliminations behind – including some 40 contestants – it was time to home in on who would advance to the semifinals and ultimately the final four, who would compete for the $1,000 cash prize for the best voice in the Valley.

“It’s already been a pretty wild ride with some very, very difficult decisions for our judges,” Gonzalez said. “Many of the final votes have been as close as one or two points in a system based up 50 points. The level of talent has absolutely blown me away.”

The contestants range widely in age and background, including several local high school students, many of whom have been part of the area’s thriving theater scene for years. There are teachers and web developers and restaurateurs; proving that The Vail Valley truly does have a wealth of talent.

The panel of three judges takes several categories under consideration, including vocal quality, vocal range, stage presence, interpretation and audience response. Each category is worth up to 10 points for a total of 150 as the perfect score. While most contestants submit songs to a deejay who plays the karaoke version of the song as accompaniment, several of the hopefuls have also played piano or guitar and a few have even performed their own compositions.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Last week’s quarterfinalists included Jessica Long, Megan Houghton and Nancy Shannon, all of Eagle as well as Avery Hynes of Edwards and Michaal Smith from Avon.

The success of the contest, if nothing else, is validation for Gonzalez that his instincts on the quality of talent were well founded.

“I think the folks who have come out, that were curious about the competition, have simply been amazed at how good these competitors are,” he said. “Now that we are into the quarterfinals, the singers have really bought their A-games. They have a better understanding of what it will take to move on the semi’s and, ultimately, to the finals, where they’ll be asked to sing at least two different songs to display their versatility.”

The Vail Valley Has Talent competition continues for three more weeks, with the second quarterfinal elimination round today at 7:30 in the Bowlmor Lounge at the Back Bowl. The finals, and the award of the $1000 prize, will be held on Oct. 6. For more information call 970-328-BOWL, or go to

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