Longview's Hosts Colgate Talent Search

The East Texas version of country idol was held in Longview and it brought hopeful singers from all over East Texas.  The line at the front door at the T.G. Field auditorium told the story. More than 50 aspiring artists were looking to be discovered. They were there to perform in the 26th annual Colgate Country Showdown Music Talent Search sponsored by the ranch.

"We had some people show up as eight o'clock this morning in anticipation of the show which started at three.  It's exciting because this could be where we see the next Reba McIntyre, the next Garth Brooks.  This is they're first shot," said Mandee Montana, of radio station 'The Ranch'.

Longtime artists came to be discovered.  "If you just sit down and do nothing nobody gets to see you this way at least you give it a shot," said long-time Tyler musician Ricky Garrett.

But others just came for the experience.  "For the fun of it.  I enjoy singing and hopefully maybe something will com up out of it," said Christa House.

"I've been singing since I was three," said  Bridgett Raymond, 11, of Terrell.

Today was a preliminary round to qualify for an area competition to be held in May.  "You'll never know if you never try kind of like playing the lottery you have to buy a ticket," said Nacogdoches singer Nevett Mcswain.

The singers were judged on originality, charisma, vocal and instrument talent and stage presence.  Some didn't measure up.

Fifteen finalists were selected tonight to move on to a regional competition to be held in Tyler May 6th at the Ornelas center. Winners could ultimately go on to nationals and a chance to win $100,000 in prize money.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.  bhallmark@kltv.com