Zionsville Times Sentinel

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January 5, 2010

Resident chosen as Colgate Country Showdown finalist

In the contest where some of Nashville’s biggest country stars have found stardom, Zionsville resident Kendall Phillips has been chosen as one of five national finalists in the 28th annual Colgate Country Showdown.

As one of five finalists, she will perform Jan. 14, onstage at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, hosted by Country Music superstar LeAnn Rimes. As many as 50,000 people around the country compete in the contest each year.

“I feel elated, excited and a bit overwhelmed being in the top five,” she said. “I always knew I had it in me to make it to this point, but after competing in the preliminary rounds of this competition so many times and not making it through, it does get a bit discouraging.

“There is so much on the line for me and no matter how many times I have competed and performed, the nerves never seem to subside. At the regional competition in South Dakota, I was shaking so much on stage I remember thinking, in the middle of my song, “you've already lost. Just keep singing maybe they won't boo you off the stage.” When they called my name, I honestly couldn't believe I won. I am still out of my mind ecstatic, and the fact I'm going to be singing my song on national television is the cherry on top.”

The Colgate Country Showdown is designed to find the most promising country music talent in America, providing performers a chance to launch their professional music careers. The contest begins through contestant sponsorships from local radio stations and state competitions.

Now representing radio station WBCH of Hastings, Mich., Phillips successfully advanced in the Midwest Regional Finals to compete on national television. The grand prize is $100,000 and the title of “Country Music’s Next Big Act.”

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