'Jeopardy' Champ To Judge Speedway Star
New Hampshire Motor Speedway's search for a national anthem singer is down to the final 10 contestants, as the top vocalists from New England will compete in front of "Jeopardy" champion Kerry Greene (Manchester, N.H.) and a celebrity panel of judges at the sixth annual Speedway Star. Two contestants will win the opportunity to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" in front of thousands of fans at a NASCAR sanctioned event in July and September.
Speedway officials sifted through hours of digital media recordings to narrow an impressive field of more than 50 singers down to 10 for the annual singing competition. The finalists, ranging in age from 12 to 38 years old, hail from across the Northeast and will compete in front of a live audience on Saturday, April 11.
The contest, which will be held at 10:30 a.m. inside the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester, will put the 10 finalists - one at a time - on the stage to compete. There, they will sing live in front of family, friends, shoppers and, most importantly, a panel of judges. The judges include Green, the current "Jeopardy" champion and Volunteer Guardian ad Litem with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates); Bob Duteau, VP of Booking at Live Nation, which has helped NHMS with booking the likes of Marshall Tucker Band and Frankie Ballard for pre-race concerts; and Karen Kiley, WOKQ 97.5 FM morning wake-up show host and two-time Speedway Star judge.
Two winners will be selected to sing the national anthem in front of thousands of fans during one of the speedway's NASCAR weekends in either July or September at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Prospective contestants were asked to submit a DVD, CD, .wav file or .mp3 file of them singing "The Star Spangled Banner" a cappella style (without music or other accompaniments) to the speedway. Magic Mile officials then determined the final 10 by scoring each registered contestant on overall singing ability. The top-10 finalists with the highest score qualified for the finals.
Here are the finalists for April 11:
- Caroline Carter, age 26, Dover, N.H.
- Sheila Crosbie, age 32, Rutland, Mass.
- April Cushman, age 26, Swanzey, N.H.
- Rebecca Deschenes, age 28, Conway, N.H.
- Emily Judd, age 27, Newport Center, Vt.
- Isabel Keefe, age 15, Hollis, N.H.
- Stacy Lavalley, age 38, Manomet, Mass.
- Madelyn Paquette, age 15, Sudbury, Mass.
- Nicole Pelletier, age 12, Pelham, N.H.
- Nicole Vasseur, age 18, Ellington, Conn.
The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is right around the corner. Purchase tickets for the New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Weekend on July 19 or the SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR Weekend on Sept. 27 by calling the track's ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931 or by visiting www.nhms.com.