The Ekka (the Brisbane show for the uninitiated) ran its annual talent quest, the Ekka Country Music Showdown today, with some amazing talent on show.
With two categories for opens and juniors, there were some stunning performances, with Keith Urban Scholarship recipient Beth Lucas walking away with the open trophy and newcomer Sarah Savannah taking out the junior category.
It was a very close run contest with Briana Dinsdale taking the runner up trophy for the second year running in the open category and newcomer Mitchell Steele impressing the judges for third.
Let’s take a look at the new talent you need to know.
It has been a big month for Beth, who premiered her new video Hometown with Countrytown just a couple of weeks ago. Honouring her hometown of Yandina the video takes in photos from her childhood. A graduate of the CMAA Academy of Country Music, Lucas opened for Adam Brand, Taylor Moss and Matt Cornell at this year’s Country on Kings.
Another Keith Urban Scholarship winner, Briana Dinsdale has been a favourite here on Countrytown and certainly impressed the judges at the Ekka. Her latest single Chasing Boys was released in February.
The judges were asking who this amazing voice was when Mitchell was on stage. A contestant on The Voice ten years ago, Mitchell is still working it and it was this original I’ll Be Home that won the hearts. This is the only version we could find online. Where’s the Mitchell Steele album? We’d be buying that one. In the absence of a record, we’ll just have to follow his TikTok.
With a confidence and songwriting prowess way beyond her years, Sarah Savannah was a standout for the day across any category and took home the junior trophy. She’s performed at Tamworth and is currently finishing high school at Music Industry College. Here she is performing at the Tamworth Shine Showcase.
Another Music Industry College student, Dennis Comino blew everyone away with his Everly Brothers Cover, but it was his original that sealed the deal for junior second place. Channelling Elvis, Eric Church and Luke Combs in equal measure. Check out his last single Head Over Heels on your favourite streaming service, but here’s a more recent live video he posted on YouTube of another original. This won’t he the last time he’s mentioned on Countrytown.
All the way from Gladstone, Mackenzie May is another CMAA Academy Graduate. The timbre in her voice immediately drew attention. There was a presence about her performance that drew everyone in the venue to her, resulting in a third placing. She’s looking to record her debut EP soon and we can’t wait to hear it.