Emotional win for ‘Dixie’s Got Talent’ competitors highlights sold-out event

ST. GEORGE — For the third year in a row the Dixie State University Cox Performing Arts Center was filled to capacity as crowds came to watch and take part in the Sixth Annual “Dixie’s Got Talent” talent competition Thursday night. The finale event showcased 20 finalists picked from an original field of over 100 people, singing, dancing and performing in hopes of winning over the judges and the audience.

6th Annual "Dixie's Got Talent" Finale Show, St. George, Utah, January 21, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News
Sixth annual “Dixie’s Got Talent” finale show, L-R Ayla VanLehn, Haven Sunderland, Marlie Root, St. George, Utah, January 21, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

The field was divided into two groups; youth (17-and-under) and adult (18-and-over) and one winner and one runner-up from each group was chosen by a combination of judges scores and audience votes.

Winners and runners-up were as follows:

  • Adult winners: Jordon and Liz Sharp
  • Adult runner-up: Haven Sunderland
  • Youth winner: Marlie Root
  • Youth runner-up: Ayla VanLehn

It was a very emotional win for married couple Jordon and Liz Sharp who dazzled the crowd with their vocal abilities despite a recent tragedy in their life. Liz Sharp’s mother died about a week ago, the couple said, and the two were not sure if they were going to participate in the finale.

6th Annual "Dixie's Got Talent" Finale Show, St. George, Utah, January 21, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News
Ayla VanLehn plays piano at the sixth annual “Dixie’s Got Talent” finale show, St. George, Utah, January 21, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

At the urging of Liz Sharp’s father, the pair decided the show must go on and they took the stage singing not only for the crowd but for their family.

“I really just wanted to see my family excited,” Liz Sharp said. “We’ve been, we’ve had a hard week and it meant a lot for my family to be excited and happy for me.”

“Dixie’s Got Talent” winners received $500 and the Sharps said they will likely spend it on a trip for just the two of them.

While the Sharps might be vacation dreaming, youth winner, Marlie Root, had more sensible, if less fun, plans for her winnings: saving most of it for college, she said.

6th Annual "Dixie's Got Talent" Finale Show, St. George, Utah, January 21, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News
The Super Steppers perform at the sixth annual “Dixie’s Got Talent” finale show, St. George, Utah, January 21, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

For Root, winning the youth competition was an affirmation that she wants to continue singing and that hard work really does pay off.

“It helped me know that I love to sing,” Root said. ” … I just love doing this.”

Root was quick to thank her vocal coach, Lisa Seegmiller, and to sing the praises of the other competitors.

“They’re all so wonderful,” Root said.

“Dixie’s Got Talent” is produced annually by Dixie Scholarship Associates in cooperation with the Dixie Foundation and with the support of the Dixie State University Student Alumni Association. All proceeds from the event go toward providing needs-based scholarships for students who would be unable to continue their education otherwise due to financial or life-changing circumstances.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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4 Comments

  • Proud Rebel January 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Is it asking too much to have the photographer name the folks that are being photographed? These are the people who made the show. Who cares who the name of the photographer is, that isn’t nearly as important as naming the photographed people.

  • IDIOT COMMENTERS January 22, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    for such a big event the prizes are chickens***

    • .... January 23, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      Did anybody get arrested for dancing ?

  • .... January 23, 2016 at 10:39 am

    They should of named the show Utah’s got Polygamist !

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