Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 1:13 am | Fair 55º


Santa Barbara Teen Star Singing Competition Selects 10 Finalists

Blake Brundy

Zoë Lynn Burritt

Kaitlyn Chui

Olivia Huffman

Isabella Illescas

Azalea Kemp

Gwennie McInnes

Dylan Ortega

Sydney Shalhoob

Cheyanne Yang

Ava Burford

Kelly Cody

The top 10 finalists have been announced for this year’s Teen Star singing competition, which will be held Feb. 21 at the Granada Theatre.

Teen Star held auditions at Deckers Outdoor's facility in Goleta and Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria to evaluate talent from throughout Santa Barbara County.


» Blake Brundy, senior at Lompoc High School

» Zoë Lynn Burritt, junior at Cabrillo High School

» Kaitlyn Chui, freshman at Cabrillo High School

» Olivia Huffman, freshman at Santa Ynez High School

» Isabella Illescas, senior at Santa Barbara High School

» Azalea Kemp, junior at Carpinteria High School

» Gwennie McInnes, senior at Dos Pueblos High School

» Dylan Ortega, junior at Santa Ynez High School

» Sydney Shalhoob, freshman at San Marcos High School

» Cheyanne Yang, senior at Dos Pueblos High School


» Ava Burford, eighth-grader at Santa Barbara Junior High School

» Kelly Cody, eighth-grader at Los Olivos Elementary School

It was an even split between North and South County in Santa Barbara with five finalists from each area and representing more than 24 schools.

These finalists will be competing for the title of Teen Star and a prize package that includes a $1,000 scholarship, a recording session in the world-class studio at Santa Barbara Sound Design, radio and TV appearances, training with casting director and celebrity judge Wendy Kurtzman, and opening performances at The Durango Songwriter Expo.

“We attribute the success of the Teen Star program to the fact that we provide an exceptional vehicle for youth to showcase their talents, instilling lasting benefits for them and our entire community ... at a time when students are hungry for opportunities to excel as individuals and to express their passion,” said Joe Lambert, founder and executive producer.

“Teen Star teaches kids what it takes to pursue their dreams — passion, commitment and courage are all on stage for us to enjoy,” said Angel Martinez, chairman, president and CEO of Deckers Outdoor Corp.

New this year as a celebrity judge will be actress and recording artist Margo Rey, a Montecito resident. As an actress, she is known for Bridegroom (2013), Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008) and Desperate Housewives: The Game (2006). She replaces Catherine Remak, who has been with Teen Star since its inception in 2010. Remak had a conflict this year and will be building houses for the poor in Guatemala as a project with her Rotary Club.

New to the team this is year is Ike Jenkins, who will provide mentoring to the finalists at Playback Recording Studio.

The vision of Teen Star is to provide a platform and venue where teens can flourish and showcase their talents in a healthy, supportive environment. It was founded in 2010 as a benefit for the performing arts programs in Santa Barbara County schools.

Teen Star is presented by Deckers Outdoor Corp. and other lead sponsors Claudia Lapin with Sarah Jane Lind.

Purchase tickets by clicking here. Visit or write [email protected] for more information.

— Laura Lewis is a producer for Teen Star.

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