With an aerial silk performance, singing and dancing, 12 acts from the south end of the valley competed Saturday at the Mountain Crest High School Auditorium.
The Biennial South Towns Talent Show, hosted by Nibley City Recreation, showcased the talent of contestants from Millville, Nibley, Providence, Wellsville and Hyrum, according to Nibley Recreation Coordinator Marquessa Gordon.
“It’s one of my favorite events because I didn’t do sports growing up,” Gordon said. “I played the piano, and so I like to provide this opportunity for people to recreate true fine arts so it’s kind of a different experience.”
The talent show is open to the entire south end of the valley from 12 years of age and older. Any type of talent is welcomed to audition except those that use live animals or are dangerous, according to Gordon.
For this year’s show, over 30 acts auditioned for the show and 12 were selected. The selected acts were given the opportunity to meet with coaches for two hours to help contestants with showmanship and their presentation.
The show is divided in two categories: adult and youth. The top three acts in both categories took home cash prices.
In the adult category, Sharolyn Richards from Wellsville took first place for her clogging to a number from “The Greatest Showman.” Richards, who has been clogging since she was 9 years old, said she was really surprised she won since she felt she had blown the audition.
Ricky Lyon from Hyrum took home second for playing the guitar and singing “God Help Me,” while Jessica Bryant from Nibley took third singing “God Bless the USA.”
In the youth category, Latin dance couple Madilyn Matthews from Nibley and Matthew Valentine from Layton took home first place for their dance routine.
“Very happy that I won,” Matthews said. “It was really fun. I was excited to dance.”
The dance partners, who drive an hour to meet and practice, have been dancing together for a year in which time they have won several local competitions.
Valentine said he enjoyed the competition.
“I don’t actually live here so this is the first time I’ve done something kind of like this,” Valentine said. “I liked the interaction with the audience.”
The judges had a difficult time choosing the top performers in the youth category. Dave Bennett, the show’s emcee, said the competition was so close they created an honorable mention award while deliberating.
The recipients of the honorable mention were Latin dance couple Cydnee Matthews and Gabe Christensen. Olivia Merkley took home second place for her rendition of “Preludium” by Edward MacDowell on the piano while Whitney Obray took home third place for playing the guitar and singing “I See Fire.”
Lia Hugie won the Audience Choice Award for her aerial silk performance.
Gordon said the committee is excited for the next show, scheduled for 2021.
“We would love to see it grow,” Gordon said. “In 2021, we’d love to see more people try out and more people coming to enjoy the show.”