2012 Jam audition winners Clay Brooker, Lyndie Burris, Rion Paige and Stephanie Renae

2012 Jam audition winners Clay Brooker, Lyndie Burris, Rion Paige and Stephanie Renae

It took five hours of competition before a packed house, a run-off between nine top contestants with the judges still unable to pick a winner before the 2012 Suwannee River Jam final audition was finally settled April 7. All final April 7 audition winners will perform at the Jam at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Fla May 2-5!

Amidst the winners is an 11-year-old star who brought the house down with her last performance and had the entire crowd on its feet, screaming encouragement and clapping before the Jacksonville performer could finish her performance!

Another winner comes to the Jam straight from her experience at the 2012 American Idol contest where she made it all the way to #40 before being cut a few weeks ago.

The four winners, Rion Paige, Clay Brooker, Stephanie Renae and Lyndie Burris, will perform on the 1st Street Music & Sound Company/Budweiser Party Zone Stage at the amphitheatre during the Jam, according to 1st Street Music & Sound Company owner Steve Briscoe, who heads up the audition contests and books talent for the 1st Street Music & Sound Company/Budweiser Party Zone Stage at the Jam.

In addition, Briscoe said, the remaining five winners will also perform at the jam but at various other venues! They are Brittney Lawrence, Crystal Black, Kevin “Ski” Swenszkowski, Lauren Elise and Maci McDuffie. “We will find a place for you all to perform, whether it’s at the river stage, on the porch stage at the SOS Café or elsewhere,” Briscoe told the delighted winning contestants.

The contestants spent more than five grueling hours trying to win their spot on the Jam stage, at first singing two songs each before the final nine were called back to sing one more to help the judges make their decision. Still, the judges, all career artists themselves, said they couldn’t make a choice. It was then that Briscoe made the decision to let all nine perform during the Jam.

The four main winners are seasoned professionals who obviously came to win.

Rion Paige is a sixth grader in Jacksonville. Her performance brought tears to the eyes of the judges who said Rion had “brought your A game tonight!” Upon her last performance, the entire audience stood up, screamed, cheered and clapped for this little performer who kept right on singing through the last perfect note!

Clay Brooker, Waldo, brought a fantastic performance that was the essence of country today. His strong performance impressed the judges and the audience and made you feel you were truly in the presence of the next male country star.

Stephanie Renae (or Stephanie Renee as she is sometimes known) recently competed in the American Idol Contest, remaining in competition until she reached #40 where she was cut. “You look like a star, you’re a real winner,” judges told Stephanie, who was also an audience favorite with her flawless performance.

Lyndie Burris, the current reigning Ms. United America, sings with a band but performed as a solo act, bringing a star-quality performance that pleased the judges and the audience.

Judges and Briscoe said of the 18 contestants vying for the Jam stage spots, all were excellent performers but there were only so many slots available during the Jam. Contestants were chosen from various venues around North Florida over the last three months.

For more information about the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, 2012 Suwannee River Jam, Wanee, Purple Hatters Ball, Suwannee River (gospel) Jubilee, Memorial Day Get-a-Way or to buy tickets or book accommodations for any of these events or festivals, you may call 386-364-1683, email spirit@musicliveshere.com or go to www.musicliveshere.com.

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is located at 3076 95th Drive 4.5 miles north of Live Oak, Fl off US 129 at the famous Suwannee River. The park is 4.5 miles south of Interstate 75 and 4.5 miles north of Interstate 10 off US 129. Keep an eye out for the SOSMP sign and white painted board fence!