BEMUS POINT - After top-notch performances from four area residents, Michael Nugent, a 19-year-old from Lancaster, has been named the winner of Chautauqua Lake Voices.
Throughout the course of the competition Nugent performed tunes such as: "Beautiful Day" by Michael Buble; "Movin' Out" by Billy Joel; "What Do You Got" by Bon Jovi; "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Frank Sinatra; and "Feeling Good" by Michael Buble.
According to Nugent, although winning hasn't yet sunk in, he feels incredibly grateful to all who supported him throughout the competition, especially since he isn't from Chautauqua County.
"It's a feeling of love," Nugent said. "It's amazing, frankly. A lot of people had fans down here, but nobody really knew me down here. That's why it feels pretty good to have a great crowd that liked my singing. Honestly, I think this is step one. I got a lot of work to do, and singing is definitely something that is always going to be in my future - no doubt about it."
Judge Michelle Paterniti said Nugent's rendition of "I've Got You Under My Skin" was the best she's seen of him throughout the competition. Judge Patricia Newman added, "Flawless vocals and perfect breath control." Nugent also got an "A-plus performance" from judge Tim Edborg.
After Nugent's take on "Feeling Good" nearly the entire audience stood for an ovation, to which judge Drew Minton commented, "You proved it." Paterniti added, "I don't think there is a woman in the audience who didn't faint - including me."
P-J photo by Dusten Rader
According to Andrew Hill, director of operations and programming for Media One Group, producer and host of the show, Nugent not only earned the judges praise throughout the competition, but also that of the audience, who voted him coolest performer during Bon Jovi night as well as the highest number of votes via SlickText.com during the finale.
"Each year I say it's one of the best finales, and I can honestly say that this year is the best we've ever had," Hill said. "Each singer brought their game face, and they performed above all of our expectations. Truly we can't think of a different way to celebrate our 10th year than with quality singers, wonderful personalities and Michael Nugent - who was consistent during the entire summer. He impressed our judges and everybody tonight with his adult standard music - he certainly earned his position of joining nine other great singers in the history of the show."
As a result of becoming the winner of 2013s Chautauqua Lake Voices, Nugent won thousands of dollars worth of prizes. In addition to publicity and exposure, Nugent also received: a large flat-screen television from DFT Communications; a $200 gift certificate from the Italian Fisherman; a $500 gift certificate from Ziebart; $1,000 at Moran's Floor and Ashley Furniture Store; a full day pontoon boat rental from Smith Boys Marina; a complimentary sitting and print from Jon Elder Photography; lunch for two, once-a-month for a year at Foxmart in Akeley; an overnight stay for two at the Wingate by Wyndham in Erie, Pa.; a $250 Diamondback brand 'Outlook' model bicycle from Hollyloft Ski And Bike; a prize from Decorators Gallery Showroom; a $700 gift certificate from Jamestown Mattress; and an end-of-summer performance with the Bemus Bay Pops orchestra during its Labor Day weekend finale.
The other finalists included Teal Weatherley, Bill Brunacini and Nicole Tenpas. Weatherley performed "Hurt" by Christina Aguilera and "Son of a Preacher Man" by Joss Stone. Brunacini performed "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5 and "Roxanne" by The Police. Tenpas performed "Cowboy Casanova" by Carrie Underwood and "Done" by The Band Perry.
The first SE93 Chautauqua Lake Voices winner, Susan Waite, also took the stage to perform during the finale. She presented the audience with "What A Friend We Have In Jesus," which was a flashback of the blues-hymn style she specializes in and currently performs with her band Red Letter Blues. According to Waite, being back on The Floating Stage was an amazing experience.
"To see everybody all the way around - this is a really supportive community for music," said Waite. "It's really great to see this kind of community support for the arts."
Other past Chautauqua Lake Voices winners include: Marla Harris, Lauren Ceccini, Ben Blood, Billy Thomas, Shawn Wilder, Marc Nupp, Samantha DeJeus and Heather Pawlak.
According to Hill, a 10-year anniversary show, which will occur in December, is being planned in conjunction with Angelo Giuffre and the Spire Theater. More information regarding the show will be released at a later date.
For more information visit ChautauquaLakeVoices.com or search for "Chautauqua Lake Voices" on Facebook.