Kara DioGuardi, a former judge on the television singing competition “American Idol,” held a similar competition Tuesday night in her home state of Maine, The York Weekly reported.
Sixteen-year-old Jenna Holliday of Andover, Massachusetts, claimed first place at the New England Sings competition with her rendition of Declan McKenna’s hit song “Brazil,” according to The York Weekly.
For the victory, Holliday was due to receive $500 cash, a scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music Summer Sessions and an invitation to perform live at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s UnMask Cancer gala in Boston later this month.
“I want to make sure that if we’re using the talents of youth, we’re going to give back to their generation,” DioGuardi told The York Weekly in a previous interview. “If we as adults would just pay attention to them, they have so much to teach us. They drop gems all the time. You just have to be there to listen. After all, we’re leaving the world to them.”
The event took place at the Ogunquit Playhouse and featured DioGuardi herself as one of three judges, alongside playhouse Artistic Director Brad Kenney and Bonnie Hayes, chairperson of the Songwriting Department at Berklee College of Music.
Tuesday night represented the second New England Sings competition held by DioGuardi and the nonprofit Inspired Nation, which raises money for youth-oriented charities.
DioGuardi is an accomplished songwriter whose songs have been performed by the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts and Katy Perry, among many others. She served as a judge on the hit television show “American Idol” in 2009 and 2010, and now lives in York.
Behind Holliday, 14-year-old runner-up Ella Burroughs, 14, of Hampstead, N.H., was due to receive $250 and a Berklee Summer Sessions scholarship.