By Heidi Shaffer
FARGO – Two familiar faces will take the Fargo Star stage at this year’s finals of our annual singing showcase.
Finalists Stephanie Palanuk and Mehgan Ashmore found out Friday they garnered enough votes in our second week of voting to sing March 23 at the Fargo Star Finals for the second year in a row.
Palanuk’s audition video racked up more than 5,000 votes to take her to the stage at The Venue at The Hub. Ashmore made it to the finals with almost 3,800 of the 17,346 total votes cast.
Both women say last year’s atmosphere and opportunity to sing onstage with Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome as the backing band is what made them want to compete for the title of Fargo Star again.
“It was so fun to be on stage singing with a live band. I’d never done that before,” said Palanuk, 26, of West Fargo. “It brought something out in me … a drive, passion to perform for people.”
It will also be a family reunion of sorts, as Palanuk’s brother is the lead singer of Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome.
“I’m really excited to sing with him on stage,” said Palanuk, who sang “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall for her audition video.
Ashmore, who tackled “Mama’s Song” by Carrie Underwood for her audition, also looks forward to taking the stage.
“I just thought being on stage in front of that many people and singing was probably the most fun thing I’ve ever done,” said the 25-year-old Fargo woman.
Last year’s winner, Taylor Wall, who beat out Palanuk and Ashmore last year will perform at the 2013 finals as well as serve as judge.
Palanuk and Ashmore join Round 1 finalists Trina Michels and Taylor Hought for the first four spots in the competition. The other six are up to you.
We’ll reveal the next two finalists on Feb. 25.
Readers can reach Forum features editor Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511