Kayla Rushton entertains the crowd at the first annual Voice of the Valley competition.

Kayla Rushton entertains the crowd at the first annual Voice of the Valley competition.

Rushton wins Voice of the Valley

Hundreds turn out to watch the area's best karaoke singers compete for the local crown.

Over 300 people turned up for the Voice of the Valley final on Saturday night at the Hudson Bay Lodge, which pitted 12 of Smithers’ best karaoke singers against one another.

“Everything was fantastic,” organizer Bobby Van Grootheest said. “For the first annual competition, it was as big as we could have expected.”

Those who attended, left entertained. Some vocalists focused more on style and performance, others on trying to get as many people up to the dance floor as possible.

Each singer was given two chances to impress judges Grammy award winner Alex Cuba, Mayor Taylor Bachrach and The Peak’s Dustin Treanor.

Genres ranged from country to heavy metal to pop, and the judges were impressed with every performance.

In the end, Kayla Rushton took home the top prize with her sultry rendition of When You’re Good to Momma and her soulful performance of King of the Road.

“There were a lot of excellent competitors there, so it was pretty awesome to win,” Rushton said.

“The great thing about this competition was that everyone was cheering each other on and the crowd was fantastic.”

Rushton won a pair of tickets for a flight to Vancouver and two nights’ hotel stay for her efforts.

Placing second, Crystal Alfred sang Pour Me by Trick Pony and What’s Up by Four Non Blondes. Alfred was awarded a train trip and two nights’ accommodation in Prince Rupert.

And in third place, after winning in a sudden death sing-off, Desmen Leung energized the crowd with Metalica’s Enter Sandman and Alabama’s Mountain Music. Leung took home a BBQ and a season’s pass to the Riverside Par 3 golf course.

Van Grootheest said he plans to bring the competition back next year.

In between rounds, Acoustics Anonymous rocked the crowd.

“I have to give a big shout out to Acoustics Anonymous for putting on a really good show.”

“I don’t think we will do anything differently,” Van Grootheest said. “It was very successful.

“I want to thank all the contestants for giving it their best and everyone who came out to see them.”