Knutson still in Country Showdown

Winning and continuing on ... Philip’s Kianna Knutson sang and played her guitar to win the North and South Dakota State Final of the Texaco Country Showdown talent contest. Her rendition of “Folsom Prison Blues” and her self-composed “Always Come Back to You” won over the judges. She will next compete in the Midwest Regional Final, November 5, in Keshena, WI. Courtesy photo

Surpassing the competition at the 30th annual Texaco Country Showdown North and South Dakota State Final, Kianna Knutson proved worthy of the state title and $1,000.

On August 5, Spirit of the West in Beach, N.D., showcased acts which had won at local contest sponsored by radio stations throughout the state. These previous contests enabled each winner to perform at the state level competition of America's largest country music talent search.

Kianna Knutson, Philip, representing radio station KZZI of Spearfish, triumphed at the state level event. The judges scored this 16-year-old singer/songwriter's mix of fresh pop vocals and country guitar playing the highest among those competing. At the state competition, Knutson performed "Folsom Prison Blues" and an original composition, "Always Come Back to You."

Knutson will compete in the Midwest Regional Final, November 5, at the Menominee Casino in Keshena, WI, to determine if she will advance to the National Final. Regional winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Nashville to compete for $100,000 and the coveted title "Best New Act in Country Music."

Each year, more than 50,000 artists compete throughout the United States. Past local, state, and regional winners include Martina McBride, Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Neal McCoy, Sara Evans, Brad Paisley and Billy Ray Cyrus.