Victor Raul Contreras, of Streator, is the winner of the Country Showdown, conducted on the veranda of Starved Rock Lodge. Richard Gavril, of Sugar Grove, was runner up. Six vocalists entered the contest, which consisted of singing two songs.
Event host, Chad “Dog” Hannon introduced Contreras by his entry name, Wasted Talent Revise. The winner explained how he carefully chose his stage name to reflect his renewed confidence in himself and then performed an original song called “Super Hero.” Playing a six-string guitar, Contreras later sang another original in the second round for a crowd of more than 300. Extra points are given to contestants who perform an original song and play an instrument.
Judges for the event were Steve Sharp (Steve Sharp Band), Eric Mills (Rodeo Drive) and Lori Nicolson-Flores (Three-Day Weekend). Each of the judges will be the featured musicians on the Lodge’s veranda over the next few weekends. The winner of Country Showdown was selected from a combination of the judge’s scores and audience votes.
Contreras took home a $100 gift card from Starved Rock Lodge. He now moves on to regional competition with the chance to compete nationally and win the grand prize in Nashville. This year’s Country Showdown was co-sponsored by WALLS 102, Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center and Dr. Ed Monroe.