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10:45 AM Sun, Sept. 23rd

Prescott Idol winners share advice with 2015 finalists

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier, file<br>
2014 Prescott Idol winner Erin Johnson Sobo performs Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” during the fifth annual Prescott Idol Finale Sept. 5, 2014, at the Yavapai College Performance Hall in Prescott.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier, file<br> 2014 Prescott Idol winner Erin Johnson Sobo performs Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” during the fifth annual Prescott Idol Finale Sept. 5, 2014, at the Yavapai College Performance Hall in Prescott.

After a summer of singing and competing, the Prescott Idol finale is at hand, with the finalists taking the stage on Thursday, Sept. 10.

This year's finalists are Jonny Greywolf, Taryn Gates, Abby Lugo, Nicolette Sewell, Julie Malinowski, Gaby Perez, Rick LeVang, Tiffani Fortney, Caitlynn Neal, Brett Worth, Noah Jones, Roberto Hurtado, Denielle Glick, and Kristina Herrerra with Justin Stump, Kendrick Carpenter, Paul Grunow, Robert Root, Brian Martinez, Taylor Bentley, Anna Borchardt, Cheyenne Ortega-Belone, Chuck Brown and Alyssa Cross as wildcard finalists.

Looking back at their time in previous Prescott Idol competitions, some past winners have advice and encouragement for those competing on Thursday.

Ally Owens, who won the competition in 2013, said she entered because she loved singing and wanted to be more competitive with it. Winning was "probably one of the most unexpected moments in my life," Owens said, adding that she "thought they might've called the wrong name."

Since competing in Prescott Idol two years ago, she is continuing to work toward a career in music, , Owens said. She is with a band called Total Disarray, has been writing music, was a semifinalist in Alice Cooper's Proof is in the Pudding contest and released an EP over the weekend.

If she could give advice to the finalists, she would tell them to be real, be themselves and trust in their voice, Owens said.

"Don't overthink," she said. "You just want to be relaxed and show them your voice."

The 2014 winner, Erin Sobo, is a choir teacher at Granite Mountain School. She said she entered the competition last year because she had been wanting to and finally got up enough courage. Sobo said she had a blast and called it a fun experience to sing in front of such a large crowd.

As with Owens, Sobo said she was shocked that she had won, adding that she didn't think she had a shot after they announced the runners up, whom Sobo felt were very good.

Sobo's advice to the competitors is just to have fun.

"That's what it should be about. Concentrate on what you're doing, not what others are doing," she said. "It should come from the heart."

The Prescott Idol Finale will be at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St., at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the box office, online at www.ycpac.com or by calling 928-776-2000.

Follow reporter Jason Wheeler on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037 or at 928-642-5277.