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Curry County Fair: Talent show

Jerry Sifford of Gold Beach sings “It Is Well With My Soul.”

GOLD BEACH — A panel of anonymous judges of the Curry County Fair talent show had to deal with a situation never before encountered — a three-way tie.

Of the five acts in the adult division at Saturday’s contest, the three that tied had to return to the stage and repeat their performances. When Siobhan Vila, mistress of ceremonies, announced the winners, she said the scores were still very close.

It was Jerry Sifford from Gold Beach who took home the first-place trophy and will be competing in the Oregon State Fair at the end of August. Last year, Sifford, along with Alex Adams, won the Curry County talent competition and went on to place third at the state fair in Salem. 

Sifford performed “It Is Well With My Soul.” Before singing, he told the story of how the song came to be. An attorney lost his family in a shipwreck. He went out to sea and when he was at the site of the sinking, he penned four verses of the song.

Steve Pearson of Gold Beach was the second-place winner for his performance of “Wagon Wheel” on guitar and vocals.

The trio, Solace — Gabriel Kennedy, Jacob Hanna and Nathan Hanna — from Gold Beach won third. Jacob and Nathan Hanna performed a duet last year, but didn’t place. Solace, accompanied on guitars and cajon, covered the song “Shallow Bay” by Breaking Benjamin.

Also competing was Nathan Hanna, performing solo, who sang and played guitar, and Joseph White, who performed hand-walking gymnastics.

The youth division also had five acts.

Winning first place and the privilege of competing at the Oregon State Fair was Luke Gilbert of Gold Beach. He played guitar and sang “American Girl.” Sam Strom of Brookings won the second-place trophy by performing on guitar and vocals. The third-lace trophy was awarded to Bethany Michels, who sang “Broken Road.”

Gilbert is a newcomer to the talent show. Both Strom and Michels competed the previous year, but did not place. However, Michels won first place in the children’s division in 2012 as the only competitor that year. 

Also performing was Makayla Graves from Pistol River, who sang an original song “Coming Home.” She accompanied herself on keyboard. Also performing on keyboard was Aiden James Stephan of Port Orford. He performed the instrumental portion of a popular Van Halen tune.

Also performing in the youth division, but not eligible for a trophy, was Brodie Speece of Eugene who presented a juggling act. Speece was not eligible because he is not a resident of Curry County.

Rayna Grace Stephan of Port Orford was the only entrant in the children’s division. She sang “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” She garnered only enough points for a second-place trophy. 

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