Halle Stephens has been to the state competition twice in her home state of Nebraska, and can now add the Texaco Country Showdown Kansas state competition to her resume.
Stephens, 18, made the 180 mile trip from Arapahoe, Neb. and sung her way to victory in the local round of the Texaco Country Showdown the Thomas County Fairgrounds in Colby.
“I’m very excited and I’m very anxious for next Thursday,” Stephens said. “I’ve gone to the Nebraska state fair twice, last year and two years ago, so I kind of know what the state competition is like but I’m very curious of what it’s going to be like.”
In the first round, Stephens and Colby-native Brock Wagoner advanced to the finals from the field of four over Kit Boyington of Goodland and the Colby-duo of Cali and Ffej.
Stephens sang her original song “Love Tonight” and performed her rendition of the Maggie Rose song “I Ain’t Your Mama” to advance to the final round. In the finals, she performed another original song titled “Summertime.”
After the KWGB Showdown competition, Stephens sounded confident that she was most likely not going to change songs before the next round.
“I don’t think I will,” Stephens said. “I’ll do some thinking, but I really do like all three of those songs.”
The Kansas state competition will take the Grandstand stage Aug. 8 at the Northwest Kansas District Free Fair in Goodland at 7:30 p.m. Mountain time. The contestants at the Texaco Country Showdown Kansas State Final will represent: KSOK AM/FM Arkansas City, KWGB Colby, KMXN Lawrence, KHST Pittsburg and KVWF Wichita.
The winner of the state event will receive a $1,000 prize and the chance to compete in one of five regional events. The regional winners receive an all-expense-paid trip to the National Final in Nashville and will compete for $100,000 and the title, “Best New Act in Country Music.”
Stephens and the other local competition winners across the state will try to join the likes of Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Sara Evans, and Brad Paisley, all of whom competed in the Texaco Country Showdown in the beginning of their musical careers.
For more information on the Northwest Kansas District Free Fair, call 785-899-5888 or visit www.nwksfair.com online. More information on the competition can be found at www.texacocountryshowdown.com.
—This story was compiled and written by Beau Tiongson. Contributing photographs was Melia Clark. More photographs from the local round in Colby of the Texaco Country Showdown are available on the NWKS Radio Facebook page