LaGrange Has Talent crowns 2022 winner

Published 8:45 am Saturday, November 19, 2022

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Esther Duke was named the overall winner of LaGrange Has Talent on Thursday night.

The annual talent-show fundraiser, LaGrange Has Talent, raises funds for early childhood education through the Magnolia Society Women’s Leadership Council of United Way West Georgia. This year marks the fifth year that the women’s group has hosted the fundraiser.

Ten musical acts competed during a final performance at Callaway Auditorium for a top prize of $2,000.

Esther Duke took home the grand prize awarded by a panel of judges for her soulful performance of Only Jesus by Casting Crowns.

Duke started singing in her church choir when she was only six years old. She said she had the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at Publix on July 4. After seeing that performance, someone suggested that she participate in LaGrange Has Talent.

Duke said she was initially hesitant, but agreed to do it to share her faith.

“If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it for the Lord,” Duke said. “I said if they let me sing a Christian song. If they let me get out here and do it for God, I’m going to do it.”

Lillie, Curry and Corbin Hoats won the People’s Choice award, winning $500 for the award. The prize is given to the performer who gets the most votes before and during the performance in the form of monetary donations where one dollar equals one vote.

The trio won the award based on a performance of Dreams by Fleetwood Mac.

Both performers were ecstatic to take home their prizes, but the real winner of the event was the youth of Troup County. The money raised during the event goes to fund early learning initiatives such as Success by 6, The Jungle Bus, Get Troup Reading and BLOCKS.

Eight other finalists performed live during the event including performances by Robert Kirby, Karen Knuth, Amber Norton, Jordan McIntosh, Three Sets, Chattahoochee Rhythm Keepers, Young Singers of West Georgia and Obliquity.

The show also included performances by last year’s LaGrange Has Talent winner, Kite Strings.

LaGrange Has Talent Chair Melissa Miller said the totals raised by the event are still being tabulated.