By TESS KENNY
NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER
Randy Jackson is coming to Santa Barbara. Yes, you did hear that right – dawg.
Set to take his rightful place at the helm of vocal victory, the idol original himself will help decide this year’s Teen Star Santa Barbara.
After months of preparation, ten high school hopefuls – and a junior high alternate – are ready to dominate Arlington Theater on Saturday for the competition’s 11th installment. During this one-night finale, competitors will vie for the championship title.
Emceed by executive producer J. J. Lambert, the showcase will go down in two rounds. Following an initial performance by each of the finalists, celebrity judge picks and audience-member voting will determine which three contestants move on to the final showdown.
Alongside Mr. Jackson, this year’s judges are a mix of industry experts and star-studded performers, including casting director Eric Stein, singer Justin Fox, and radio broadcaster Catherine Remak.
As for the contestants, some may recognize Santa Barbara junior Lauren Cantin or Cate School sophomore Dawson Fuss in the showcase, who were both Teen Star finalists last year.
Other hopefuls include: Andie Bronstad, San Marcos, 10th; Katy Caballero, San Marcos, 10th; Bridget DeVine, Santa Barbara, 11th; Meghan Downing, San Marcos, 12th; Jericho Guron, Cabrillo, 12th; Audrey Harmand, Dos Pueblos, 9th; Aidan Juan, San Marcos, 10th; Madeleine Thomas, San Marcos, 11th. La Colina Jr. High 7th grader Josh Hahs will stand-by as an alternate if one of the finalists cannot participate.
Whoever goes home as 2020’s Teen Star will also leave with an $1000 scholarship, the chance to record with world-class studio ParSonics and opportunities for radio and television appearances. The winner will also have the chance to open for major local events as the year goes on.
Since 2010, the competition has supported youth in performing arts. Proceeds from the event will go towards local music and theater programs in Santa Barbara County Schools.
The Teen Star finale takes place Saturday, February 24 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at AXS.com or through the Arlington Theatre Box office at (805) 963-4408. Arlington Theatre is located at 1317 State St.