Phillips wins Marengo County Idol competition

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 9, 2005

DEMOPOLIS-After month’s of preparation all systems were on go Saturday for the second annual Marengo County Idol contest. Once again, the judges were presented with a talented field to choose from, however, in the end Demopolis native Erin Phillips took top honors.

Phillips, 25, will now represent Marengo County in the next American Idol auditions in Atlanta. Phillips said she did not have butterflies when she took the stage. She proved this as she put on a completely relaxed and flawless performance.

“I wasn’t really nervous once I got up there,” Phillips said. “I just went out there and sang.”

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Phillips, who performed the song “You’ll Never Thirst Again,” said she was confident in her chances coming into the competition. She said she is very excited about the opportunity to represent Marengo County.

“I am very excited about getting the chance to audition for American Idol,” Phillips said. “I can’t wait.”

Phillips is a graduate of Demopolis High School and Shelton State in cosmetology. She said music has always been in her life.

“I have been singing since I could talk,” Phillips said. “It is something that I really enjoy.”

First Alternate was awarded to Emi Wilkinson. If Phillips is unable to attend the audition Wilkinson will step in.

Marengo County Idol organizer Wayne Kirk said he was very pleased with this years show.

“I am speechless,” Kirk said. “It seemed like more and more people are beginning to realize what a positive event this is. We just have to believe in our kids.”

Kirk said the program is truly a treat for family and friends of the competitors. He said the show is only a small portion of the talent in the area and hopes for an even bigger show next year.

“It is a great feeling to see your son or daughter get the chance to be up there on stage performing,” Kirk said. “It just amazes me that we have so much talent around here and we need to showcase it more.”

The key motivation for the event was to allow the youth of Marengo County to showcase their talents. Kirk said there are so many gifted people in the area, but they don’t always have the opportunities they need to showcase their talents.

“We just want to encourage our kids to take their gifts and put them to use,” Kirk said. “Everybody has a gift. God gives everybody a gift and we want to encourage them to use it. Just use what God gave you.”

Kirk said they wanted to give young people the chance to reach their potential.

“We are trying to send the message to them that they can do whatever they want to if they try,” Kirk said. “Just because someone isn’t 6’5″ doesn’t mean they can’t play basketball. You can do anything you put your mind to.”

Kirk added the young people of Marengo County needed encouragement. He said he planned to stay active in their lives and let them know he was there to support them in their endeavors.

“My little girl is growing up and if I don’t show her and the other young kids that I don’t care what is happening to them would be wrong,” Kirk said. “I want them to know that I care about them and see that I care about them. If we do that the world will be a better place.”