Virtual talent competition seeks video auditions

Country hit maker and Grand Ole Opry member Craig Morgan will share his music industry insights and experiences with the 2020 Path to Fame Virtual Talent Competition grand champion. {Photo Credit: Nate Griffin}

You’ve heard of talent competition shows like The Voice, American Idol, and America’s Got Talent right? What if we told you that the folks at Pigeon Forge did their very own version, Path to Fame, and that auditions will be coming to two towns less than an hour’s drive from Lynchburg?

Path to Fame 2020 will be the third consecutive year for the Tennessee-based talent scout … and this year due to COVID-19, there will be a virtual twist. In previous years, Path To Fame traveled with a team of talent scouts to various markets in the Southeast. To accommodate restrictions and venue closings due to COVID-19, the talent competition has been re-engineered to accommodate video auditions. 

“We know that performers were affected by the economic shutdown and operating restrictions necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19,” said Pigeon Forge Executive Director of Tourism Leon Downey. “Pigeon Forge’s theater community would like to help those performers, along with other talented folks, by bringing the Path To Fame Virtual Talent Competition online for 2020. We hope easy access to the competition will encourage performers to make a video and take advantage of this great career-building opportunity.”    

The grand champion will claim a prize package that includes tools to help launch the winner’s own path to fame, including a virtual career consultation with country star Craig Morgan. 

Anyone over the age of 18 who fits the search criteria can audition but officials have designated four hometown markets for this year’s auditions:  Asheville, North Carolina, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Huntsville, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia.

Contestants may showcase their talent in one of four categories: vocalist, instrumentalist, comedian and specialty act. Individuals and groups of five or fewer can may compete. All contestants must register and submit an audition video following the contest rules and regulations to be eligible to win.

Judges will select four finalists to represent each of the hometown markets. The 16 finalists will compete for the grand champion title and the prize package that includes 12 monthly consultations with a Nashville-based talent executive and a virtual meeting with Broken Bow Records country music star Craig Morgan. 

Morgan possess strong ties to Pigeon Forge. The Tennessee native and Grand Old Opry member served as master of ceremonies at the award-winning Country Tonite show before finding success with country hits like That’s What I Love About Sunday, Almost Home, and Redneck Yacht Club. Morgan will share his music industry insights and experiences with the 2020 Path to Fame Virtual Talent Competition grand champion.

“We’re thrilled to work with Craig Morgan this year in part because he also began his own ‘path to fame’ in Pigeon Forge,” said Downey added. “Given the success of Path to Fame Talent Competition over the past two years, we’re eager to discover more talent this year, and we hope the virtual nature of this year’s contest will encourage even more people to audition.”

The grand champion prize package is comprised of career-building tools, including a one-year mentorship with Nashville-based talent executive John Alexander who discovered Kelsea Ballerini and spent more than a decade at Great American Country television network. Alexander will assist in establishing consultations and industry meetings for the grand champion. Additionally, the winner will perform in Pigeon Forge during a complimentary return trip and receive assets and experiences to advance his or her career. 

Pigeon Forge helped launch the careers of Janelle Arthur, Carly Pearce, and Mandy Barnett. For more information and details to enter are available •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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