Local girl competes in Abilene Idol

A Sweetwater girl has the chance to become the first-ever Abilene Idol.Twelve-year-old Journee Pugh, a sixth grader at Highland ISD, competed in the preliminary round held at the Mall of Abilene on Saturday, March 3, 2012. The talent competition is sponsored by Chorus Abilene and the Steve Arthur Family Foundation in Abilene.Journee was one of 103 contestants who sang to advance to the final round. She is the youngest finalist out of twelve performers and three alternates; the oldest is 47. The finalists will battle it out for the title of Abilene Idol and a $500 grand prize on March 24 at the Paramount Theatre. Second and third place winners will win $300 and $100, respectively.However, a popular vote will also be considered in the judging. For $5 per vote, friends, family and community members can mail in their vote through different outlets. Voters can send a check (include the contestant's name on the memo line) to Chorus Abilene, P.O. Box 3358, Abilene, TX 79604 or vote via PayPal (put the contestant's name in the Subject line) to info@chorusabilene.net. For votes totaling over $25, please call 325-673-7464 where payment will be accepted by a credit/debit card.In addition, Journee and the other finalists will be displayed on the digital signs inside the Mall of Abilene and around the city with the information needed to submit votes prior to the night of the finals.The public is invited to attend the final competition for $10 per ticket. Tickets can be reserved by calling 325-673-7464 or emailing info@chorusabilene.net. Audience members will get the chance to enter one vote for their favorite finalist to become the first Abilene Idol.Tim Halperin, a semi-finalist from American Idol Season 10, will also be at the event that night as a guest celebrity performer. Funds raised by the event will benefit Chorus Abilene.