Friday, January 16, 2009
– Johnny Bulford won the 27th Annual Colgate Country Showdown Thursday. Bulford was presented with a $100,000 Grand Prize check. The four other finalists were Korey Blake, Lance Lipinsky, LiveWire and Matt Reeves.
Bulford, the southeast winner representing WXXX of Orlando, is a singer/songwriter who has opened for Collin Raye, the Warren Brothers, Josh Turner, Emerson Drive, Chris Cagle, Diamond Rio and Tanya Tucker. His style has been compared to Vince Gill, Garth Brooks and James Taylor. He was a State finalist in the 2003 Colgate Country Showdown and won the state title in the 2004. He wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on his CD "What Happens Here Stays Here."
The finalists performed in front of a panel of industry professionals - Rod Essig (Creative Artist Agency), Fletcher Foster (Universal Records South), producer Garth Fundis, Beverly Keel (Tennessean) and Lisa Ramsey-Perkins (Sony). The five contestants were judged on the following criteria: Vocal/Instrumental Ability, Originality of Performance, Stage Presence/Charisma and Talent. Optional bonus points could also be awarded to acts for with original music in a Songwriting category.
Past contestants included Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sara Evans and Miranda Lambert.
Each year the competition begins in the spring with more than 450 country radio stations producing live shows to find the best new talent in their market. These winners advance to state and then regional competitions throughout the summer and fall before competing at the National Final in January.
The 27th Annual Colgate Country Showdown National Final, one-hour special- will air nationwide, over syndicated television in March and April.