Four Cincinnati Performers Advance to Path to Fame Talent Competition Finals

More than 200 people registered for open call auditions in Cincinnati on April 14.

CINCINNATI (April 17, 2018) — Four Cincinnati performers advanced in Saturday’s Path to Fame auditions at the 20th Century Theater where more than 200 people registered for a chance to advance their entertainment careers.

The four semi-finalists from Ohio are:
female vocalist Taylor Deaton from Springboro;
female vocalist Sheila Gardner from Fairfield;
duo Michaela Back from Mason and Aaron Cramer from Cincinnati;
male trio BL3SSED from Cincinnati.

Performers lined up outside the venue as early as 2 a.m. for a chance to audition. Four advanced one step closer to realizing a lifetime dream of an entertainment career. Nashville-based talent executive John Alexander will focus on artist development with the grand champion, including career development consultations with GRAMMY-nominated, platinum-selling country star Kelsea Ballerini and other entertainment executives representing all aspects of the entertainment industry. Alexander discovered Ballerini, spent over a decade at Great American Country television network, managed artists such as Patty Loveless and is co-founder of the Nashville-based artist development company Bandtwango.

“The number and caliber of performers at Saturday’s auditions in Cincinnati demonstrate how important it is to help connect music industry professionals with up-and-coming talent in hopes of advancing these performers’ careers,” Alexander said. “These four acts brought their best on Saturday and achieved that next step. Cincinnati is rich with entertainment, and they’ll represent this city well in the Pigeon Forge finals.”

Deaton performed a soaring rendition of Adele’s “One and Only.” The solo, female vocalist showcases her broad range performing music from country to soul genres. She realized her dream of singing when she was eight years old and had the urge to sing a Dixie Chicks song onstage at a strawberry festival. She has not stopped performing since that moment.

Gardner, a vocal instructor in the Cincinnati area, performed “Not for the Life of Me” from the Broadway production “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Gardner has over 30 years of solo, group, and stage performing experience and has performed at the Grand Ole Opry House and Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. as well as numerous venues in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

The duo Michaela & Aaron, performed an acoustic version of Elle King’s “Ex’s & Oh’s.” The couple met in high school and have been singing together for five years. Most recently, Michaela & Aaron have booked performances throughout the tri-state area.

BL3SSED is a gospel trio of best friends Jamaal McMullen, Davosk Lavizzo and Ke’Vaughn McDowell. The group has been performing together for over six years. They showcased their electric harmonies in a performance of “Old Enough” by the William John Brothers.

The final competition will take place in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on June 16 where one grand champion will be selected from 12 competing performers.

Performers have two more opportunities to audition for the Path to Fame Talent Competition—in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday, April 21, and Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, May 12.

More information for the Path to Fame Talent Competition can be found at More information about visiting Pigeon Forge is available at


Link to photos of PigeonForgePathtoFameCincinnatiAuditions.

Link to b-roll of PigeonForgePathtoFameCincinnatiAuditions.

About Pigeon Forge: Pigeon Forge is located in East Tennessee, approximately 35 miles from Knoxville and McGhee-Tyson Airport. Two-thirds of the nation’s population east of the Mississippi River lives within a day’s drive, making it an easily accessible family vacation destination. The city’s neighbor is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most-visited national park in the U.S. It also is home to Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park, Tennessee’s most-visited ticketed attraction. More information about all aspects of Pigeon Forge are available at or toll-free at 1-800-251-9100.

Media contact:
Jess Pangrazio
[email protected]
615-327-1189 ext. 350