04/14/2024

Talent Tour for Apollo Images courtesy of Martin Fried, www.mfriedphoto.com

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Written by Charlotte Smith

Images courtesy of Martin Fried, www.mfriedphoto.com

The National Talent Tour, Road to the Apollo in New York, saw “rule breakers” and a “lack of support” in Bladen County. However, the event organizer, Captain Newborn, said the show was successful. 

Winners Regina McIntyre and Saeed McElveen photoed with one of the tour organizers.
Talent Tour for Apollo Images courtesy of Martin Fried, www.mfriedphoto.com

The event was held at Bladen Community College Saturday, November 13, 2022. The tour searches for talent and has televised shows. The audience decides who wins and who losses by cheering and booing for the contestants. 

Twenty-two contestants took the stage. After the first audition held in October, Newborn explained, the contestants were encouraged to bring supporters to help them move to the next tour round. However, the auditorium at the college was only half-full of “judges.”

At the show’s beginning, the rules were clear: cheer for the talent most liked and boo for the talent to be escorted off the stage by Sandman. There was one exception, no booing for any child contestant. 

Event officials stood with mouths agape as one of the first child performers started to get booed, despite her brilliant presence. It did not take long for the show’s emcee to admonish the “rule breakers” and encourage the young lady to continue with her class act.

Event organizer, Captain Newborn
Talent Tour for Apollo Images courtesy of Martin Fried, www.mfriedphoto.com

 

After the young star finished her talent, another adult contest took the stage for his comedy bit. Instead of wowing the crowd with his hilarious wit, he gave up his opportunity to perform at Apollo and, instead, explained how we can all make a difference in the world with the Star Thrower story.  

Before the night was over, the vibe in the room had changed, and feelings of community bled through. 

  • Talent Tour for Apollo Images courtesy of Martin Fried, www.mfriedphoto.com

Images courtesy of Martin Fried, www.mfriedphoto.com

The winners of the Children’s Competition were Saeed McElveen, singing “Talking To The Moon” and

Xia Smith, singing “Killing Me Softly.”

The Adult Competition winner was Regina McIntyre, singing “I Won’t Complain.” 

Two other contestants were invited to go to New York for the Apollo auditions. They were Charity Barnes, singing “I Don’t Wanna Be You,” and Jair McElveen singing “Just The Two of Us.”

The selected contestants now have the opportunity to perform for auditions at the world-famous Apollo Theater in New York City. The talented contestants receive an all-expenses paid trip to the “Big Apple” for their chance at the Apollo. 

The National Talent Tour, Road to the Apollo in New York, is a fundraiser for Next Level Veteran’s. According to the event organizers, Next Level Veteran’s is a nationally accredited outreach campus for United States Veterans. They provide PTSD Treatment, Outpatient Therapy, Medication Management, Peer Counseling, Housing, Case Management, Deep Sea Fishing Therapy, and Adventure Therapy for Veterans in North Carolina. For more information call, 919-683-6398.

Trinity Faith Hearn, Images courtesy of Martin Fried, www.mfriedphoto.com

Wrapping up the show in Bladen County, Newborn gave honorable mentions. The talent search host was impressed with 16-year-old Trinity Faith Hearn, who did an original Spoken Word composition about mental health and eating disorders. Also, Sara Fox, Editor of the Bladen Journal, a local newspaper, moved the audience with her original Spoken Word composition about her mother.

The next stop for the tour searching for talent will be Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Fayetteville, North Carolina. Then in early 2023, the producers will end the tour at Carowinds in Charlotte, NC. After the tour, the video footage from all tour stops will be edited and broadcast nationally on television.

According to Newborn, the event in Bladen County raised about $6,000 for the fundraiser. 

Bladen County Talent Helps Fundraiser for Veterans this Weekend

 

 

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