Last chance to vote for the final 4 Fargo Star contestantsFARGO – A 19-year-old college student and a 49-year-old floral shop employee hope that 2014 will be the year they can claim the title of Fargo Star.
By: Ryan Johnson, INFORUM
FARGO – A 19-year-old college student and a 49-year-old floral shop employee hope that 2014 will be the year they can claim the title of Fargo Star.
After the third week of voting in The Forum’s eighth annual singing competition, Benny Stevermer and Taylor Hought were chosen as the fifth and sixth finalists who will compete for glory and bragging rights March 22 at The Venue at The Hub.
Stevermer, a native of Granite Falls, Minn., who has called Fargo-Moorhead home for the past 25 years, said it was “awesome” to hear he will move on to finals after receiving 40 percent of the Week 3 vote.
“Now I can actually get excited about it because I didn’t know if that would be reality,” he said.
The sales associate at Country Greenery in Moorhead has performed in front of live audiences at small clubs and bars and at his church, but said local residents would most likely recognize him from his frequent participation in karaoke nights around town.
But Stevermer is excited to get a chance to sing at the finals in front of a large crowd with backing band Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome. He auditioned for Fargo Star by performing Frank Sinatra’s “Night and Day,” and said he’d most likely stick with something “along that same jazz line” for the finals next month.
Hought, a freshman studying musical theater at Minnesota State University Moorhead, is no stranger to the Fargo Star contest – she was a finalist last year, her first time auditioning for The Forum’s competition.
She auditioned this year with a mellow acoustic guitar rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Teardrops on My Guitar,” but the Fargo Star crowd should be prepared for another type of song choice at the finals.
“I’m kind of leaning towards maybe playing a Def Leppard song just because that’s one of my mom’s favorites,” said the Breckenridge, Minn., native who graduated high school last year.
Hought wowed the 2013 Fargo Star audience with her rendition of Scandal’s “The Warrior,” and said she has a soft spot for 1980s rock because her parents are “hardcore” fans who raised her to love the music.
But she gets her performance philosophy from something on the opposite end of the musical spectrum – Hillary Duff and the former child star’s popular “Lizzie McGuire” TV series and movie.
“She went to Rome and just got the chance to perform,” she said. “That’s why I like to have fun on the stage because I saw Hillary Duff having fun, and that’s what I think singing is supposed to be about.”
Hought earned more than 18 percent of the Week 3 votes to be named a finalist.
The final round of voting begins today and ends Friday at noon, with all remaining contestants from the previous three weeks up for a last chance to fill the four remaining spots in the finals March 22.
Visit http://fargostar.areavoices.com to cast your vote.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587