BRADENTON – Cortez Kitchen employee and Bradenton resident Shannon Breanne recently won the Suncoast Entertainment Karaoke Contest.
The seven-week contest took place at the Joyland Country Music Night Club in Bradenton.
The four weekly qualifying rounds began May 8, followed by two weeks of semi-finals on June 5 and June 12. The singing contest concluded with the finals on Wednesday, June 26.
Breanne sang in one qualifying round and one semifinal round on her way to the finals.
At the finals, she sang Aretha Franklin’s “A Natural Woman” and Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet” to claim the top prize.
Lance Biddle led the proceedings and Carl Hunsinger, Kevin Kalley and Kari Rae judged the qualifying and semi-final rounds. Del Couch, Billy Rice and Kristen Lee then joined the judges’ panel to help evaluate the top 10 finalists.
Breanne’s victory earned her $1,200 cash, a Joyland black card, the opportunity to record with Couch – director of the Del Couch Music Education Foundation – and the opportunity to perform with the Daisy Dukes Band at one of their shows.
“It was a very exciting and nerve-wracking experience for me, as until recently I never sang in front of people,” Breanne said.
Breanne’s boyfriend, Adam Sears, accompanied her to the contests and assisted her in a variety of ways.
Tide Tables bartender Staci Wilkinson attended the finals and was among those providing Breanne with emotional support.
“It was a wonderful evening and another great example of watching our little community come together to support one another. We are so proud of her,” Wilkinson said of her friend’s prize-winning performance.