14-year-old girl wins Heartland Idol

Thursday, September 12, 2013
Maddison Avance performs "Every Time You Lie," by Demi Lovato at the 13th Annual Heartland Idol competition Wednesday, Sept. 11, during the SEMO District Fair at Arena Park in Cape Girardeau. Avance placed first in the competition beating out eight other contestants. (Adam Vogler)

With her rendition of two Demi Lovato tunes, Maddison Avance took top honors in the 13th annual ServPro Heartland Idol contest Wednesday night in Arena Park.

The event in the grandstand of the SEMO District Fair attracted 800 people, according to organizers, about 50 who were Avance's backers. The 14-year-old Haywood City, Mo., resident sang "Every Time You Lie" and "Nightingale."

Avance won $1,000, a $200 gift card to West Park Mall and a chance to record with producer Steve Hornbeak of 326 Productions in Anna, Ill. She could also choose to sing at Hornbeak's Friday Night Live event at The Venue in Cape Girardeau.

"Oh, my goodness," Avance said after her win. "It's indescribable. I absolutely didn't believe I would get it, but I prayed before this happened, and God, he came through."

Now that she's conquered Heartland Idol, Avance wants to record.

Along with friends and family, she also had softball team members cheering for her. "I have a lot of support. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't," she said.

Kathy Schreckenberg was just one of Avance's fans. "We love Maddison," she said.

Other contestants had supporters there as well.

"There are a lot of good singers," said Liz Schott, who attended the event with her mother, Marilyn. Liz said their favorites were Amber Vandeven of Chaffee, Mo., and Mary Smith of East Cape Girardeau, Ill.

Last year, Liz said, she liked Rachel McDowell, who was the winner in 2012 and a judge this year.

Kevin Harbison, winner of the 2011 competition, sang the national anthem to start things off. Audience members were also reminded Wednesday was the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Along with McDowell, other judges were Mike Renick and Brooke Burrows.

Asked before the contest about this year's contestants, McDowell said, "It's going to be close. Looking at the list, it's hard to pick a winner right now. I'm just anxious to hear them all."

Other competitors included Isabel Legg of Perryville, Mo.; Emily Johnson of Perryville; Mary Smith of East Cape Girardeau, Ill.; Kennedy Frohawk of Sikeston, Mo.; Anna Nice of Cape Girardeau; Danielle Childers of Cape Girardeau; and Kate Broeckling of Cape Girardeau.

Name sponsor of Idol was ServPro, and River Radio organized the event. The master of ceremonies was on-air personality Hunter Hendricks, along with other River Radio personalities.

"It was fantastic," Hendricks said afterward. "I've been in charge of this for three years," and this year was the largest turnout he's seen.

Hendricks said the contestants were all "great," and for the second year, all female.

"The age range skewed a little younger," he said, and most of the competitors were new this year.

rcampbell@semissourian.com

388-3639

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Arena Park, Cape Girardeau, MO

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