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Contestants show off talents

Jennifer Sprouse • Mar 10, 2012 at 9:49 PM

The search was on Saturday night for the best talent in Johnson City.

Sponsored by the Johnson City Parks and Recreation, Johnson City’s Got Talent was back for a third year at Carver Recreation Center.

Thirty-six local acts from around the Tri-Cities tried out for a spot, but only 17 acts made the initial cut.

Robin DiMona, recreation manager for Johnson City Parks and Recreation, said that Saturday afternoon the panel of judges gave the 18 or 19 acts that didn’t make the original tryout another shot at getting on stage for the night performance.

“Out of that group we selected another three,” DiMona said.

Bringing the official total to 20 acts, DiMona said she was really pleased with the overall turnout.

“I was real excited that we had so many participants,” DiMona said. “I don’t envy the judges, because there are some really good talent.”

Luke Broyles, a junior at Elizabethton High School, may have been early in the lineup, but his beat boxing left an impression on the crowd.

Also known by his stage name, PoundFX, Broyles said he learned the craft by listening to old rap CDs.

“Whenever I was about 10 or 11, I would always run over to the gas station and buy Eminem CDs, and my mom would always take them away from me. So, I kind of like memorized the songs by beat boxing,” Broyles said.

Broyles said he entered the U.S. championships for beat boxing on YouTube where he came in eighth place overall.

“I do a lot of stage performances,” he said. “I like doing stuff at like venues and clubs. Anywhere where there’s a mic and a stage, I’ll go there and beat box.”

Broyles said along with performing, he likes doing introductions for other artists and he mixes electronic music like dub step.

Another contestant who performed was Philip Bunn, a ukulele player from Kingsport.

“I just play in my room and then I heard about this, so I was like, ‘I might as well audition,’ ” Bunn said.

Bunn said he tends to shock people with the different songs that can be played on the ukulele.

“That’s really fun to kind of change people’s opinions of an instrument,” he said.

Bunn performed a medley of songs on his ukulele including the songs “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton and “Rhythm of Love” by the Plain White T’s.

Other performances included a girl troop from North Side Elementary School known as the Dynamite Girls, a baton twirler and various genres of bands.

DiMona said music solo, music group and variety were the three talent categories represented on Saturday. Prizes for individual winners were $200 for first place, $100 for second place and $75 for third.

The Emcees for Saturday night’s event were Carla and T.R. Dunn.

Results for winners were not available at press time.

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