PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (June 18, 2018)—Pigeon Forge Path to Fame Talent Competition hosted its final round at Smoky Mountain Opry on Saturday, June 16, where 12 contestants performed. Taylor Deaton, from Springboro, Ohio, advanced to the top three.
Deaton showcased her powerful vocals on a rendition of Kelly Clarkson's "Piece by Piece." She returned to the stage to perform "I'm The Only One" by Melissa Etheridge in the final round.
While Deaton didn't claim the competition's grand prize, she did gain a fiancé in Pigeon Forge. Surprising her on stage, Deaton's boyfriend, Zack Fogelman, also from Springboro, proposed and the couple is now engaged.
"I'm a busy mom of three and a full-time cosmetology student, but music is my passion," said Deaton. "I'm most excited about the opportunity that this competition presents."
"It takes such strength to get out on stage and do what these contestants did today," said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. "We are fortunate to have a robust theater community in Pigeon Forge and we are thrilled to be able to give this opportunity to performers looking to advance their careers."
Each contestant performed in front of a live audience and a diverse panel of judges: John Alexander, Nashville-based talent executive; Michael Headla, general manager, producer and director of Smoky Mountain Opry; Jeff Taylor, general manager for Country Tonite Theatre; and Kyle Grainger, WVLT reporter.
The top three finalists include the duo, Ashley Tragler and Christian Simcox from Bristol, Tenn., and grand champion Brenna Beatty from Springfield, Tenn.
Pigeon Forge is a family-friendly vacation destination with over 80 attractions including award-winning entertainment. Janelle Arthur, Craig Morgan and Carly Pearce all got their start in Pigeon Forge. The city embarked on a three-city tour to discover new talent that could entertain Pigeon Forge audiences.