Eight musical talents competed in the first round of the County Showdown on Saturday at Keyboard Galleria Music Center in Canyon Country in hopes of ultimately making it to the National Final.
Marie Wise-Hawkins, Annie Body's and J'Rose were the three bands to move on to the next step in the competition, performing at Concerts in the Park in Santa Clarita on July 19.
"I'm so, so excited," said J'Rose, a 13-year-old girl moving on to the second round of the Country Showdown. "I'm just in shock. I'm going to give it all I got and practice as hard as I can."
J'Rose has been singing for five years and currently goes to school in Gorman.
Wise-Hawkins, a CalArts alumni from Canyon Country, competed has been recognized as “Female Vocalist of the Year” by the North American Country Music Association.
About 50 people, including family and friends of the performers, watched as they competed to move on to the second round.
Judges included George Cummings, host of the KHTS AM-1220 Friday Matinee Show with T. Katz from noon to 1 p.m. and the morning show DJ from 6-9 a.m.; David May, a multi-Grammy-winning record producer; and Tracey Marshall, an actress and local to the Santa Clarita Valley
Other performers who competed in the first round of the Country Showdown were Hailey Belle, Rick Mckay, Angelina Bryan,David Reeves Carpenter and Jessica Taylor.
The three bands to move on to the next round at Concerts in the Park at Central Park in Saugus will each perform two songs in front of at least 8,000 people.
The Country Showdown is an annual competition where Country artists compete to win $100,000 and the title of "Best New Act in Country Music."