Chloe Puetz, a Blue Valley North High School senior who took a hiatus from musical theater to play on her school’s volleyball team, is the 2017 KC Superstar.
Puetz was voted KC SuperStar and the winner of a $10,000 scholarship by the audience at the finals of the “American Idol/The Voice”-style contest Sunday in Yardley Hall at Johnson County Community College.
“I was feeling pretty good after I sang but listening to how good the others sounded I was hoping to finish anyplace,” Puetz said with a laugh. “When I was told I’d won first I cried tears of joy for the first time in my life.”
Puetz sang “Take Me Home,” a song she heard for the first time riding in a car with her brother.
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“He’d been going through a rough time and when the song came on it brought tears to his eyes. It was such a powerful song, very emotional. I wanted to sing it in the finals,” she said.
Puetz is still contemplating where to go to college, but Chicago, where she has extended family, has an edge.
“Wherever I go I want to major in musical theater. I love singing. It’s my dream,” she said.
Puetz has performed in shows at Christian Youth Theatre and sings in the Blue Valley North choir. She’s a member of the Nativity Entertainers at the Church of the Nativity and sings frequently at retirement communities.
Olivia Johnson, a junior at Oak Grove High School, placed second and won a $5,000 scholarship.
“I’m still in shock. I was happy just to make the finals,” said Johnson, who sang “Make it Rain.” “I’ve never been so nervous in my life. I just zonked out, I don’t even remember singing.”
Johnson is active in school activities. She’s in choir, band, theater, volleyball and holds a 4.0 GPA. She’s been elected class president the last two years.
Since she’s a junior, Johnson is eligible to participate in next year’s KC SuperStar competition.
“I might. It’s been a wonderful experience,” she said.
Third place and a $2,500 scholarship went to Devion Williams, a senior at St. Michael’s High School. Williams, who sang “Writing’s on the Wall,” participates in theater, school and church choirs and the Kansas City Boys Choir.
“Singing is my passion. I’ve been singing since I was 7. I hope to make it my career.”
“I was pleased with my performance. I feel I sang my best and left everything I had on the stage,” Williams said.
Williams will attend Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Madi Toman, a senior at Paola high school, placed fourth, winning a $1,000 scholarship. She sang “Up to the Mountain.”
“I really connected with it the first time I heard it. I knew I would sing it in the finals,” she said. “I wasn’t nervous. I just went out and sang my song.”
Other finalists were Brooklynn Anderson, Olathe North; Savanna Worthington, Shawnee Mission East; Mallory Griffin, Oak Grove; Byron Hyde, Paseo Academy; Sam Aubuchon, Blue Springs and Bryanna Darley, Lansing. Each received a $500 scholarship.
The four winners were chosen by a panel of judges. The audience then determined by electronic vote the winner of this year’s title of KC SuperStar and the Metro area’s best high school singer.
The judges were Sarah Bradshaw, director of music for a Kansas City radio station; Shay Estes, a Kansas City singer; JV Mercanti, associate director of Musical Theatre at Pace University in New York City and Kelly Urich, a Kansas City radio personality.
Megan Hilty, star of Broadway, television and film, was MC of the event. KC SuperStar is sponsored by the Jewish Community Center and produced and directed by Tammy Ruder.