This year’s well-attended Indiana State Fair hosted more than deep-fried doughnuts this past weekend. More than 160 young Hoosiers (ranging in age from 6 to 21) had previously sent in tapes of their finest vocal performances for a chance to battle at the State Fair’s rendition of American Idol, its first-ever Vocal Throwdown, and the army of vocalists was then winnowed to 10 finalists across Youth and Junior divisions.
Two Greenwood singers in a band namd South Six 5 awed the three-panel judge on Saturday with an original song called “Every Second of the Day.” The 13-year-old pair, Jacob Bates and Andrew Butcher, took home the Youth Division gold after singing of love, a milestone in life that I’m unsure they have yet met. And by gold, I mean that they seized a $500 cash prize, a trophy, and bragging rights. And leave it to a Naptown native to really bring the Indiana heat (pun intended): 17-year-old Ali Orebaugh’s Christina Aguilera–esque voice stole the show, as she sang Etta James’ “At Last” to claim the Junior division award.
Hoosiers never let their guests leave empty handed. Second-place winners left with $250 awards, and third-place finishers were given $100.
Here is Orebaugh’s performance of “At Last”: