published: Sunday, March 03, 2013
Caitlin Sinness earns Jr. Heartland Idol champion title
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING - Even after 11-year-old Caitlin Sinness wasn't chosen to advance during the first qualifying round of the Jr. Heartland Idol competition, she made it known that she was in the competition to win it all - which is just what she did.
Refusing to be defeated, Sinness returned for the second qualifying round of Jr. Idol with a bigger, stronger sound at the Valentine's Day show. Sinness's big performance of Miley Cyrus's "The Climb" was much more impressive to judges; she was granted entry into the semi-finals.
The Fred Wild Elementary School fifth-grader's love for the stage was hard to go unnoticed by judges during her final two performances before being crowned winner Thursday evening.
Sinness's final performance, a high-energy renditon of Taylor Swift's "Mean", was just what the competition needed. The props and costumes used throughout her performance were a refreshing addition to not only her performance but the show as a whole.
"You brought your A-game tonight honey. I loved it," judge Jimmy Black said.
Most of the judges agreed that Sinness's performance was quite entertaining and showcased her true talent.
Veteran judge Larry Moore gave the young performer a few words of advice following her performance.
"Have you ever done any performing?" Moore asked. "You should really search and try acting and singing. I think you'd be really great there."
The 2013 Jr. Heartland Idol winners wrapped up with three winners, each awarded cash prizes from title sponsor Agero.
Mariah Finney, 12, of Avon Park, performed Kelly Clarkson's "Already Gone", which won her the third place prize. Finney was awarded $125.
Second year competitor and judge favorite Ashdone Dennison, 7, of Avon Park, perfromed the current Justin Beiber hit "Beauty and the Beat". Dennison landed himself in second place for the second year and was awarded $250.
Sinness walked away from her first place win with $500.
"This is so awesome," a shocked, and near tears Sinness said. "I'm going to give it (money) to charity."
The young singer was flooded with hugs and congratulations from parents, grandparents and friends following her win.
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