Amanda Phillips is the winner of The Soo’s Got Talent competition for 2022.
“It feels pretty nice. I’m not going to lie,” Phillips said, speaking to SooToday after Friday evening’s competition finale was held at Soo Blaster.
“There was a lot of competition, so this feels pretty good.”
“I felt joy,” said Phillips of the moment she was announced as the competition’s winner.
“I’d love to make an album,” Phillips said.
Phillips said she will be recording a song with Soo’s Got Talent judge Mike Severin.
“I’ve been singing for a long time. I started when I was eight or nine. My mom got me a karaoke machine for Christmas and that’s where it started. I sang at church and people would say ‘you’re good.’ In high school I won a competition and the judges were from a band in the community. They ended up losing their lead singer and they came looking for me, so I joined the band and I was with them for about six years.”
A Niagara region native, Phillips has lived in the Sault for the past 10 years.
A personal support worker, Phillips is looking forward to completing her nursing studies next spring.
As a contest winner, did Phillips have any advice for other aspiring singers?
“Give it all you’ve got. Don’t give up and don’t listen to the negatives. Always turn them around and make it positive.”
Judges Darren Robertson, Mike Severin, Valerie Powley and Timothy Murphy had a tough decision to make in picking a winner.
After initial auditions were held between Aug. 26 and 28, elimination rounds were held at Soo Blaster in September and earlier in October.
The pool of 24 original contestants was eventually narrowed down to the six who took to the stage on Friday.
Phillips takes home $1,000 in first prize money.
M.J. Servillon came in second, Nanette Garcia in third.
Servillon and Garcia took home gift baskets as prizes from Friday’s well-attended finale.
Most of the funds raised from admission to Friday’s event will go to the Brain Injury Association of Sault Ste. Marie and District, the rest toward prizes for first, second and third place contestants.
The Soo’s Got Talent events held in 2018 and 2019 raised funds for The Canadian Cancer Society and ARCH.
The competition was organized by judge Darren Robertson, Mario Naccarato as event founder and producer and Barbara Rajnovich as director and producer.
Each contestant sang two songs for judges Friday.
Phillips performed Rise Up by Andra Day and The Story by Brandi Carlile.
Each contestant was backed up for one of their two songs by local band Handsome Sandwich, which also performed during the show’s intermission.