The unusually warm temperatures outside in St. John’s Sunday were nothing compared to the sizzling talent on stage at the Bella Vista, as the Sing NL winners were crowned.
Rachel Waddleton and Ally Noseworthy were named the Season 2 winners of Sing NL in the youth and adult categories respectively Sunday night, after two performances each and a vote split between a live audience, the online audience, and a panel of judges.
Close to 100 singers from across the province auditioned for this season of the singing contest, and were whittled down over the past six weeks through weekly competition rounds at the Bella Vista, broadcast live on The Telegram’s Facebook page.
Ten others made it through to the final along with Waddleton and Noseworthy: Jesse Lahey and T.J. Hogan of St. John’s, Meghan Breen of Mount Pearl, Haley Peddle of Hodges Cove and Julianna Tshaja of Portugal Cove-St. Phillip’s in the youth category, and Emily Ball, Tiffany Richards and Rebecca Mercer of St. John’s, Mike Penton of Fogo, and Evelyn Ryan of C.B.S. in the adult category.
Peddle won second place and Hogan took third in the youth group, while Ball came third and Penton placed second for the adults.
Both Waddleton and Noseworthy were Season 1 Sing NL competitors as well, and both had made it to the finals.
The contest is presented by The Telegram and Zack Werner — musician, entertainment lawyer, founder of Venus Records and former “Canadian Idol” judge — who worked with the performers individually from the start of the competition, helping them with song choice and vocal coaching.
The judging panel changed weekly throughout the contest, but consisted for the finale of former Great Big Sea member Darrell Power; Larry Foley of The Punters and the 8 Track Favourites; musician and music recording arts instructor Greg Tobin, Roger Maunder of Up Sky Down Films, and live music producer Tony Murray. They focused on positive feedback and constructive comments, often marvelling at the singers’ talent.
“Every single performer was awesome,” Power told The Telegram. “Some of these kids were making such thoughtful song choices, and they were difficult songs, but they delivered them perfectly.
“Any time there’s an opportunity for kids to get on stage and perform is a good thing. I hope the success of the second season of Sing NL will entice more singers — because there are still lots of them who haven’t come forward — to audition for the next season.”
The finale show, hosted by singer/songwriter Carolina East, opened with a performance of “Four Strong Winds” by Werner and all the contestants, followed by a solo performance by Rachel Cousins, Sing NL Season 1 winner in the youth category.
From original tunes to pop songs to classic rock, the performers took to the stage one by one, some singing to a recorded track, some accompanying themselves on guitar or keyboard and others accompanied by Werner or musicians Kyle Mooney or Kyle McDavid on keys.
“I don’t really worry about who wins or doesn’t win,” Werner told The Telegram after votes were counted. “I’m just really honoured so many singers want to be a part of this competition.”
Preparations for Season 3 of Sing NL have already begun, Werner said.
As winners, Waddleton and Noseworthy will each receive a prize package including a two-song, professionally-recorded demo; a music video produced by Up Sky Down films and featured on The Telegram website; a photoshoot with photographer Amy Fitzpatrick; a social media plan and webpage design by Worldbeat Entertainment and social media expert Mary Sorani; a one-hour lifestyle and media consultation with Toronto-based fitness and lifestyle coach and former TV producer Caleigh Rykiss; a one-hour consultation with entertainment lawyer Greg Stephens, who represents a number of Canadian artists and independent recording and production companies; one month of private vocal coaching with Zack Werner and Idol School NL; showcase performances at the Rockhouse and the Black Sheep; an electronic press kit, including a live recording and an interview video shoot sponsored by Academy Canada, and a guest appearance on Rogers TV`s “NL Now.”