Saturday, August 5 at 7:00 p.m. Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Afton, Wyoming. Featuring Celebrity Judge Chris Petersen
Who will win the $10,000 grand prize? Meet your 2023 Contestants!
Click on a contestant to learn more about them.
Meet the Judges!
Daniel Lechner is the 2022 Vocalist winner. Tradition in the competition is that the previous year’s winner returns to the stage the following year as a judge. Daniel has a voice that is smooth as silk and a powerful range. Currently living in Thayne, Wyoming, Daniel and his wife Jaclyn are involved in local community theatre and musicals. He also runs his own courier business. A proud father and husband, Daniel enjoys spending time with his family.
Shelby Thatcher has been the long-time anchor judge for The Vocalist, sitting on the panel since year two in 2017. She resided in Kemmerer, Wyoming with her husband Phil. Shelby wears many, many hats, including mother, wife and real estate agent just to name a few. She is also an active member of the community, serving on the boards for the Kemmerer Rangers Booster Club and also the newly formed South Lincoln Hospital Foundation. Shelby is very familiar with the stage, having won the Mrs. Wyoming Pageant in 2004.
Chris Petersen is known for his authentic and original music that speaks to his love of the country lifestyle. With a timeless voice and a tireless work ethic, Chris has quickly gained a loyal fan base and critical acclaim. He was featured on Season 15 of America’s Got Talent, where his performance was hailed as “brilliant” by Simon Cowell. His album “Cowboy Coming Home,” produced by Trent Willmon, reached the top 10 albums of all genres on the Billboard Mountain Region Heatseekers Chart. Chris was also crowned the winner of the national competition, Country Battle USA and took home a $15,000 prize.
You can learn more about Chris Petersen on his website, cpcountry.com and by following him on social media @diehardcowboy_.
How the competition works
The eight contestants for The Vocalist were selected through an audition process and a selection committee. Contestants submitted their audio only, a-cappella auditions earlier this spring. The selection committee, through a very difficult process, selected the eight contestants based on who they felt submitted the best auditions. The selection committee was only give the audio of the audition. They did not know the names, ages, place of residents or anything else abut the person who auditioned. The contestants were selected based on their vocal abilities and nothing more.
There will be two rounds of the competition. In the first round, all eight contestants will perform a single song. The order in which they perform was selected at random. Following each performance, the judges will provide brief feedback to the contestant.
After the first round an audience vote will take place to determine the top four contestants that will advance to the second round. These four finalist will sing another song, followed by judge feedback. Following the second round, an audience vote will again take place to determine the winner.
Before the winner is announced, a live mini concert with Chris Petersen will take place on the stage. The top contestant will then be announced, with the winner receiving a $10,000 grand prize.
The winner of tonight’s competition will be chosen by an audience vote. Both the in-person audience as well as the live video audience will be able to vote for your favorite contestant.
Voting will be done via text message. The number to text and other voting instructions will given out during the show when the voting period opens. Voting will only be open for a short time.
The audience vote is sponsored by Kodiak Mountain Resort.
About The Vocalist
Shortly after SVI Media purchased KRSV radio in Afton, Wyoming, the station was rebranded to Swift 98. Named after the popular Swift Creek Canyon east of town. Later that summer, in 2016, the company decided to host a singing competition during the Afton Freedom Festival as a way to promote the new image and brand of the radio station. The competition was name Swift Idol and carried a $500 grand prize.
SVI decided to keep growing Swift Idol. In 2017 and 2018 it was held in conjuction with the Lincoln County Fair as some of the free entertainment under the “Big Top.” In 2019 the event outgrew the Big Top and was moved into the arena as one of the main nightly events. The prize money grew to $10,000. Celebrity judges such as Alex Boye’, David Archuletta and Darci Lynne have since been part of the show.
In 2020 the comptition was renamed The Vocalist. Now in it’s eighth season, The Vocalist has grown into the largest singing competition outside of Las Vegas and Hollywood. Contestants have auditioned and competed from all across the country, from California to New York.
The Vocalist is committed to a high quality, positive experience for all it’s contestants, a memorable and unique show for it’s celebrity judges and an interactive and entertaining event for the audience. Good luck to all of our contestants and enjoy the show!