First Night Spotlight 2020

Credit: Arts Missoula

MISSOULA -- If you're a big American Idol fan, then you'll want to tune in to a teen signing competition that's happening in Missoula.

First Night Spotlight gives high schoolers in Missoula, a chance to show off their talents.

Arts Missoula puts on the event, but Public Arts Coordinator, Paisley Thornton, said the competition will be live-streamed this year.

"It's a bummer that we can't hold First Night like we typically do, but I'm really excited about this event this year [and] to bring this event for free to the community, so that they can watch and participate," Thornton said.

It's just like American Idol, but your votes will crown a fan favorite.

"There will be real time voting during the event, so you can text in to vote for your favorite," Thornton said.

The auditions are usually held in the local high schools, but this year students sent in a video instead.

Thornton said that because of this, there's not a lot of students this year, but there's still a lot of talent.

"This year, with it just being send us a video, we got seven, but all seven are really amazing students and it's gonna be a really really great event," she said.

They can perform solo, or in a group of up to three people.

For some participants, First Night Spotlight opens doors to other opportunities.

"Bella Wright was in a trio that won a few years back and she is now spending her senior year at Interlochen Academy in Michigan and focusing on being a singer/songwriter," Thorton said.

The names of the finalists will be announced on Monday, November 23.

The event is taking place at the Zootown Arts Community Center, but you can watch it live streamed at Missoula's Community Access Television on New Year's Eve.

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