On Sunday evening, after a marathon day of singing, dancing, comedy and even fire-twirling performances, two acts were declared statewide winners of a Colorado You Got Talent competition.
In the youth division, a Colorado Springs girl, Cierra Hicks, was deemed by judges as champion.
Videos on YouTube show her giving a stirring vocal performance, which earned perfect scores from the judges - just like the "America's Got Talent" reality TV show, which just finished its summer season.
In fact, a group of the show's recent finalists will perform next week in Colorado Springs as part of a national barnstorming tour designed to further launch the careers of the winners and runners-up.
It got me thinking, could Cierra or some other resident of the Pikes Peak region make it to the pinnacle of reality television talent competition?
Already, Emily Earle, a singer and graduate of Pine Creek High School, advanced past the audition and onto the stage of "The Voice" reality show last season. And Alex Betka, a dancer and graduate of Air Academy High, recently made it to the late stages of the "AGT" competition. Betka was part of the Catapult shadow dance troupe.
There must be others in our midst who just need a break.
So I asked around to my friends familiar with the area entertainment scene about performers talented enough to deserve a shot at national stardom. I ended up with an impressive list of names.
At the top of the list was Jim Jackson, who with his wife, Birgitta DePree, own the Millibo Art Theatre in Ivywild.
Jackson laughed at the idea of auditioning for a national talent contest.
"I've been a professional clown 37 years," he said. "It's 30 years too late for me. But it could be a good stepping stone for younger performers."
In fact, Jim offered several suggestions of his own, including Super Dave Hale, an acrobat whose specialty is doing back flips and other tricks on power stilts. He has even won a national power stilt competition in Las Vegas, Jackson said.
"He's an amazing showman," Jackson said of Hale, who has worked training gymnasts in the region. "He's world class."
And judging by the video I saw on YouTube, I'd agree.
Jackson said there are many other local performers who deserve a national spotlight.
His list includes high schoolers Natalie Keller and Samantha McKinney. He said they are skilled in trapeze and acrobatic dancing on suspended aerial silk.
He also suggested comedian Hannah Rockey as a potential national talent. Another is ukulele player, singer and comic Sara Barad, Jackson said.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn we have so much talent in the area. Heck, I've only seen power stilt flipping and aerial silk performers at Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. I had no idea we had those acts being performed right here.
But that fact was echoed by others I called, including John and Cindy Hooton at Stargazers Theatre and Event Center on Parkside Drive at Pikes Peak Avenue east of downtown.
Stargazers hosted the Colorado You Got Talent competition Sunday.
"It's amazing the talent this town has," John said. "We come in contact with amateur talent striving to become national talent on our open mic nights and blues jams and in our opening acts for national performers.
"Many are as good or better than acts you see on TV."
That's something I'd love to see. And a great opportunity to get "discovered" is coming Dec. 7-8 when "America's Got Talent" holds auditions in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center.
Is there anybody out there preparing their tapes or planning to perform? I'd love to hear from you.
Read my blog updates at blogs.gazette.com/sidestreets.