Chelsea Chaput, a Santa Barbara City College student from Buellton, brought the Samala Showroom crowd to its feet during two energetic performances en route to winning $5,000 and the title of “Rising Star” on Saturday at the Chumash Casino Resort.
Chaput, one of 12 finalists in the solo singing competition, nailed her version of The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two,” to grab a coveted Top 4 spot, then she stole the show with a rousing rendition of Lady Gaga’s “You and I” to close out the competition. The audience, whose text-message votes accounted for 75 percent of the overall voting, along with input from a panel of celebrity judges determined that Chaput was this year’s Rising Star.
In addition to the $5,000 prize, Chaput will receive a recording in a world-class studio, musical mentoring from Platinum recording artist J.R. Richards of Dishwalla and the opportunity to perform an opening number for an upcoming featured act at the Chumash Casino Resort.
“I’ve never won a singing competition before, and I’ve wanted this for so many years,” Chaput told the crowd after receiving the title. “I’m going to use all the prizes to further my singing career. And who wouldn’t want to open for an act here at the casino?”
Rising Star was hosted by KEYT-TV news anchor Shirin Rajaee and featured local celebrity judges Jimmy Messina, PCPA casting director Erik Stein and KTYD morning show co-host Lin Aubuchon.
Accompanying Chaput in the Top 4 were Ben Kindschy of Santa Ynez, Shannon Saleh of Santa Barbara and Katie Gucik of Santa Maria.
The other finalists who were featured at Rising Star were Santa Barbara’s Morshid Arpa, Deborah Bertling, Henry Garrett and Lashon Halley; Buellton’s Kirsten Rasmussen; Evan Bell of Goleta; Lyndsey Homan of Los Osos; and Lizette Rubio of Ventura.
The competition began in July, when more than 100 hopefuls auditioned for a chance to be a part of Rising Star, which is a search for the best singer in the popular performance genres — pop, rock, country, Broadway tunes and jazz — in the Tri-County area. The show’s goal is to provide an outlet for singers ages 18 to 81 to be heard and recognized by their community for their vocal and presentation abilities as a performer.
Rising Star was produced by Another Lambert Productions and presented by the Chumash Casino Resort, which has showcased the greatest legends in show business, rock and popular music.
Located on Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, the Chumash Casino Resort is an age 18-or-older venue. Tickets for all events are available at the Chumash Casino Resort’s Club Chumash, or click here or call StarTicketsPlus at 800.585.3737.
— Mike Traphagen is a public relations specialist for the Chumash Casino Resort.