Lauzon tops at ‘Best of Quest’

Newcomer Kayla Lauzon wowed the crowd, judges, and fellow contestants to capture first-place and $750 at the “Quest for the Best—Best of Quest” singing contest Wednesday night under the big tent at the Sorting Gap Marina.
“I feel great,” the 14-year-old from Barwick said minutes after walking off the stage where she’d delivered Celine Dion’s “Power of Love” before a crowd of close to 2,000.
“I’m really surprised. There’s so many talented people here,” she added as friends and family rushed up to give her hugs and kisses.
Lauzon was among the 10 new contestants (or those who have competed in “Quest” before but failed to win a major prize) competing in the first set.
Judges Alan Dearing, Kate Woods, and John Dutton decided she was the best of those contestants, then had her sing “Power of Love” again against the 10 previous “Quest” winners in a second set.
Lauzon also won the Contestant’s Choice ($100) and People’s Choice—First Set ($200) prizes.
Melanie Bodnar earned second place ($500) for her rendition of Tina Tuner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” while Marc Desforges got third-place honours ($300) for singing Judas Priest’s version of “Johnny B. Goode.”
Jeremy Wilson, who sang and played guitar to Peter Yorn’s “Life On A Chair,” got the $100 prizes for Most Original and, a new category this year, the Faculty Pick (meaning, he was chosen as the favourite by the back-up band, The Faculty).
Jodie Allan won the Audience Response prize of $100 for her version of Shania Twain’s “Up” while Sarah Hebert won the People’s Choice—Second Set prize of $200 for her rendition of “Redneck Woman” by Gretchen Wilson.
As noted, the contestants were backed up by local band, “The Faculty,” consisting of Chris Denby, Steve Denby, Rob Donaldson, and Jim Newman, who also played songs during intermission and while the votes were being tallied after the second set.
B93-FM personalities Jen O’Reilly and Mike Freeman emceed the show, and even did a medley of songs about “bag tags” during the intermission.
Those adults who stuck around afterwards then were treated to a show by hypnotist Tyzen.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)