Lane Scott, one of the judges at the recent John Ritter Tribute Showcase auditions, told the contestants that the judges were for them, not against them.
“What I want you to know is that here we shoot for you in every way possible,” he said. “So today is about you, have no fear, go for it. And just, you know, sing with all your heart. We look forward to hearing from each of you.
Singers from all over Texas and beyond traveled to the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage to audition for the annual John Ritter Tribute Showcase. The music competition aims to promote and showcase up-and-coming and aspiring country singers – and 30 of them were named finalists on June 25.
These finalists will perform on stage at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame festival weekend in August, and the winner will be the official TCMHOF ambassador for 2023. This year’s prize includes $1,000 cash, a stipend of $500 wardrobe, seminar stage presence, recording session, photoshoot, vocal consultation and artist development, songwriting sessions, interviews, and several special appearances.
This year’s finalists are Abby Nabors, Anne-Leslie Tijerina, Aubrey Beam, Ava Burford, Blair Kudelka, Bob Gober, Brayden Stewart, Chase Dawson, Cindy Prince, Dixie Rae, Dusty Lilly, Emily Meadows, Gina Ivy-Mitchell, Haywood Buras, Hunter Collins, Jana Cates, Kaylee Dawson, Kaylynn Stacy-Backus, Keaton Bradbury, Kennisyn Rain, Madeline Ros, Maritza Marquez, Mary Clare, Nicole Fuentes, Presley West, Robert Bumstead, Sabrina Scott, Sam Brannan, Stella Wieser and Zoey Green.
Scott, a singer himself married to country singer and Carthage native Linda Davis, sat down with the other judges and told the singers that the auditions they were doing on Saturday was something all the judges were familiar with.
“It’s a hard thing to do as a performer, and I’ll just tell you on a small stage like this, you sing the tracks, you don’t have a full band or you have a guitar. It can be a daunting thing,” he said.
Tommie Ritter Smith, executive director of the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, told the singers the contest was “an opportunity for young people to sing in a good atmosphere and gain experience.”
“I was thinking last night when Linda Davis was doing the Stage Presence Seminar…there’s no other competition you can be exposed to Grammy winners helping us in this endeavor,” she said. declared.