One point between first, second

Makayla Gates has quite a fan club, including Grandma Charlene Gates, left.

By Marcie Klomp

Wow. Not much left to say after listening to the contestants in the Lime Springs Has Talent Contest during Sweet Corn Days. Organizer Pam Burnikel did a great job in getting super-star-type talent for the event. (But the $500 top prize might have helped a little!) In the end, just one point separated the winner, Amber Feind from local favorite Makayla Gates.

On Friday night, the four judges (Mary Dietz, Kim Witt, Brenda Larson and Harlan Larson) had a difficult time in choosing finalists for Saturday night. It was between hometown girls Gates and Arielle Engelhart with Ashley Haw and those coming from a little further away—Krystle Greene, Becca Franzen, Cathy Hoffert and Feind.

Judges used a system that took into account crowd involvement, how well the contestant was prepared, stage presence, confidence factor and eye contact. Gates performed “Over You,” Krystle Greene sang “I Wonder” a capella, Engelhart and Haw sang the duet “Just a Dream,” Becca Franzen played guitar and sang “Baby Girl,” Cathy Hoffer brought tears to eyes by singing “Love Me,” and Amber Feind gave the judges goosebumps with her rendition of “There You Are.” They all made the cut.

Saturday judges were members of WiKid LiKir, Steve Palmer and Paul Davis, the band that played for the FREE street dance. They were very impressed with the talent found in little ole’ Lime Springs.

After the finals, the judges wanted a sing-off between Gates and Feind. Each contestant gave it her all again.

Before announcing the winner, Palmer said, “Lime springs ROCKS! I found six people here perfectly capable of being lead singer in my band.” He noted the sing-off was necessary because only one point separated the two singers. The same was true after the sing-off—one point difference!

Ultimately, it was Feind who won the competition and took home $500. But Davis said to Gates, “You did a damn fine job. You don’t have a thing to be sorry for.”

Palmer complimented the winner, “I don’t know what artist to compare her to.” She has her own style.

Steve Witt of Star Karaoke supplied the music.

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