Audience Votes Five More Off Chautauqua’s Got Talent

Five more acts were eliminated during the third round of Chautauqua’s Got Talent Monday night, trimming the field to 11.

The five who were eliminated this week include: Samantha Marie Elleman, a contemporary singer from Jamestown; Maia Davis, a pop singer from Jamestown; Anna Paterniti, a ballet dancer from Jamestown; Corinne Edwards, a contemporary singer from Jamestown; and Cathy Covarrubias, a theatrical vocalist from Jamestown. The remaining contestants are competing for a $500 cash prize, website, promotional press kit and a free dinner each month at Wing City Grille for a year.

Area residents headed to The Spire Theater of Jamestown to see the competition, presented by Big Time Productions and The Post-Journal, and cast their votes.

According to Ylsa Giuffre, judge and CEO of Big Time Productions, as each week progresses quality replaces quantity, and the competition becomes more of a show than a contest.

“The talent never fails to surprise and amaze me with the new things that they bring to the table,” she said. “I was entertained, I laughed a lot, I cried a little and I felt like I was watching a show rather than judging a contest.”

According to Angelo Giuffre, event organizer for Big Time Productions, short of a close call or tie, six more are likely to be eliminated next week, as the finale, scheduled for Monday, March 18, will feature the top five contestants.

This week’s show was opened by Corey Osborne, a theatrical vocalist from Jamestown, who Ylsa Giuffre said totally took charge during his performance of “Mack the Knife.” Elleman put her own spin on “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. She was followed by Halle Weston, a pop singer from Bemus Point, who brought the blues with her rendition of “I Put A Spell On You.” Davis then performed her second Adele song of the season when she took on the huge “Someone Like You.”

Paterniti, who had been preparing an original piece for Monday evening’s competition, opted to keep working on it and instead perform “Cygnets” from “Swan Lake.” Edwards tried out a Norah Jones tune called “Don’t Know Why.” Austin Anderson, a vocalist and guitarist from Jamestown, brought judge Jamie Lee back in time with his take on “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. He was followed by Victoria Campbell, a singer from Little Valley, who impressed the judges and the audience with a song entirely in Italian.

After a brief intermission, SYMBA, featuring Hayley Restivo and Ryan Hawkins, an instrumental and vocal duo from Jamestown, drew esteem from sit-in judge Michael Frank, who said that the two took “Tainted Love” to a new place. Taylor Latour, a vocalist of Lakewood, had Ylsa Giuffre call her “Ave Maria” rendition “regal.” Victoria McIlvain and Sean Gardner, a vocal and piano duo from Jamestown, who performed “Titanium,” got judge Jillianne Dolce Higgs to admit to singing the song to herself in front of the mirror each morning. Higgs also loved Stephanie Bensen, a singer-songwriter and guitar player from Jamestown, whose “Next To Me” cover gave the judge a lightness in her chest.

Lindsey Hinger, a specialty dancer of Warren, who impressed the audience and judges alike with her hula hooping skills in week one and a silk fan dance in week two, upped her game by spinning two hula hoops. She was followed by Teal Weatherly, a contemporary cross-over vocalist of Jamestown, who had Ylsa Giuffre worried about the integrity of the stained glass windows in the church after she belted out “The Wizard And I” from “Wicked.” Michael Earle, a singer and pianist from Falconer, brought tears to his mother’s eyes when he dedicated a song in her honor entitled “A Mother’s Love.” The evening concluded with Covarrubias, whose characterization of The Lady of the Lake from “Spamalot,” for her performance of “Diva’s Lament,” had everyone laughing.

“Now we’re in the cream of the crop for talent,” said Angelo Giuffre. “I can’t even begin to try and predict who will get sent home. We get to see the votes, and it drastically changes every week. There were people who were at the high end the first week that dropped way down the second week, and those who were at the bottom that flew right up. I’m glad I’m not voting.”

The fourth round of this year’s competition, the semi-final, is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday at the Spire Theater, 317 E. Third St. in Jamestown. Tickets to each night are $6 pre-sale or $8 at the door. The tickets can be purchased at The Labyrinth Press Co., 12 E. Fourth St. in Jamestown.

Sponsors of the event include Tim Hortons, Lutheran Social Services, Secret Garden Flower Shop, Odyssey Events and Wing City Grille. Each week an audience member is selected to receive a free dinner to Wing City Grille. Lighting for the show is provided by Prime Time DJ, and sound is handled by Star-Sirch Productions.

For more information, call 450-7357, visit spiretheater.org or search for “Chautauqua’s Got Talent” on Facebook.