WESTERN KENTUCKY: Severe Thunderstorm Warning in effect until 6:30 PM CDT. Tornado Watch in effect until 8:00 PM CDT. (Source: U.S. National Weather Service)

OWENSBORO, Ky. (9/9/13) - Skylar Cain, 10, of Owensboro, won the Texaco Country Showdown held Friday night. The state competition took place at the RiverPark Center, where Cain competed against nine other local division winners for $1,000 and a chance to move onto the next round.

"No words can explain it," Cain said. "I am so excited."

Contestants traveled from different parts of the Commonwealth, including Murray, Corbin, West Liberty, Cadiz, and other communities. Each contestant sang two songs for their performance. Skylar Cain sang "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky."

Aside from the 10 contestants, the showdown also provided entertainment from 2005 showdown winner Michelle Rene, and 2013 American Idol contestant Jenny Beth Willis.

"The showdown is great opportunity to get in front of a lot of different music industry people that you wouldn't normally have the opportunity to get in front of," Rene said.

According to RiverPark Center employee, Travis Estes, Willis was also a showdown contestant prior to making the "Top 20 Females" on season 12 of American Idol.

Willis recalled her Idol experience, saying, "I learned so much from all the other singers, the judges and everyone. It was like one big lesson. It was the best thing that has ever happened to me."

Although the showdown judges could only select one winner, each of the performers are encouraged to enter the contest again next year.

"Not only the winners advance to go do big stuff but sometimes the people that are just in the contest do," Estes said. "It's a good way to recognize talent."

Cain will now represent Kentucky in the Southeastern Regional Finals scheduled to take place at Rocco's Pub in Jasper, Ga., on Nov. 1. The Grand Prize consists of $100,000 and the title of "Best New Act In Country Music."

If you would like to learn more, visit http://www.countryshowdown.com/.

Evan Gorman
SurfKY News
Photos provided by Misty Horn

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