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Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
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India Tyree takes top spot in talent show
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Photo by William Mitchell: FCHS senior India Tyree won first place in the annual Franklin Countys Got Talent contest Friday night. She is pictured above singing At Last, a performance that drew high praise from judges and audience alike.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer

Singer India Tyree, a senior at Franklin County High School, took the top honor at the annual Franklin County's Got Talent show on Friday night.

Tyree sang "At Last" for the competition, garnering a first-place win and $250 in cash.

Second place ($100) went to Danielle Foutz, a seventh-grader at Benjamin Franklin Middle School, for a dance number to "My Boyfriend's Back."

Brennan Childs, also a BFMS seventh-grader, took third ($50) with a piano solo of Fur Elise.

The contest, which drew a huge crowd at the FCHS auditorium, was a fundraiser for the Franklin County Public Schools Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps students in need who otherwise may have nowhere else to turn.

Greg James, president of the foundation's board of directors and one of the event's organizers, said he was very pleased with the show.

"We are so happy with the participation from the contestants and with the support from the community in attending," he said. "It looks to have made a substantial growth from last year."

"The talent was tremendous, and it is hard to determine who gets the top spots. Everyone in attendance seems to have a different opinion on who was best so that shows that we had a great show," he added.

This was the second year for the event, and James said the level of talent keeps getting better.

"Even those who participated last year showed great improvement this time," he said.

Twenty-four acts performed for the show, trimmed down from 46 entries after auditions.

The three judges were Annette Anderson, Josh Grice and Dave Thorp.

Elsie Walker was the mistress of ceremonies.

Contestants included:

"Emilee Altice, gymnastics

"Taylor Nickel, vocal

"Alice Black, vocal

"Brandon Sears, guitar

"Jared Minnix, vocal/guitar

"Baylee Angle, vocal

"Sidney Rosenblatt, piano

"Eriahna Harris, vocal

"Kaitlyn Lawhorn and Kaitlin Wray, vocal/piano

"Molly Philpott, dance

"Austin Harris, vocal

"Rowan Abshire-Sims, piano

"Samantha Young, vocal/guitar

"Micah Viney, vocal

"Carly Smith, vocal

"Allyson Nichols, vocal/guitar

"Ceinna Thompson, Colyn Thompson and Jenna Lambert, dance

"Katie Mitchell, vocal

"Alexus McBride, vocal/guitar/composing

"Timmy Massey, vocal

"Ke'ra Young, dance.

All proceeds go to the foundation, which has spent about $40,000 since 2008 helping county students with everything from eyeglasses to clothes to needed supplies. The foundation steps in when all other resources for help are exhausted.

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