The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 49 - August 26, 2009


Summer talent contest heats up

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

SUN PHOTOS/CINDY LANE From left, Chelsea Burgess and
Gera Versfeld performed at the Island's Got Talent contest
Sunday night at the Sandbar.

ANNA MARIA – A 12-year-old girl with Frank Sinatra pipes and a pair of dancers with moves from “So You Think You Can Dance” were among the second round winners in the Island’s Got Talent contest Sunday night.

The talent competition, sponsored by the Sandbar Restaurant, drew 26 amateurs of all ages, and eight will compete in the finals on Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Sandbar.

Maria Wirries, 12, dazzled the audience by belting out "New York, New York" like a veteran Broadway songster, earning the only perfect 30 score of the evening from judges Katy Demick, Jim Turner and Mark Ibasfalean.

Two contestants, singer/guitarist Taylor Zebracki and singer/songwriter Jonathan Petrelli, both had scores of 29.

Four contestants earned scores of 27: singer Kara Hosler, who performed in the first round last week, singer Adrian Merritt, singer/guitarist Chip Ragsdale and singer Hannah Roemer.

Phillip Morehouse and Casey Lowrimore danced their way into a 26 score, covering the dance floor with sophisticated moves.

Other contestants sang inspirational hip-hop, cracked jokes and played the blues.

In Sunday’s final contest, all contestants will perform two pieces. The first place winner will receive $300, second place will receive a $150 Sandbar gift card and third place will receive a $75 Sandbar gift card.

All winners will receive a Green Screen Audition from True Hollywood Screen Test Pro Audition and a stage performance at the Talent and Film Expo at the Manatee Convention Center on Sept. 19, where national talent and film scouts will meet to interview local area talent.

Sunday’s performances may be viewed at

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper