By CRAIG FREILICH
The singing competition North Country Idol VI is underway, with five competitors from St. Lawrence County participating in the Friday evening solo sing-offs in Watertown.
Brooke Arquitt from Hammond, Rebecca Branchau from Gouverneur, Kae Marie Gregory from Star Lake, Amber Rife from Newton Falls, and Bill Melchior from Hannawa Falls are all part of what has become an annual event at the Watertown Fairgrounds.
This Friday, the third round of eight will be held. The field of nearly 80 singers has been trimmed to 35, and will be cut to 25 after Friday’s round. This will be the first chance for audience members to choose the singers who will go on to the next round.
Each of the top 25 will be asked to choose a charity to benefit from the money in “charity jug,” which will be split up when the competitors are cut down to five. The jug is filled with the proceeds of 50-50 and other raffles, and donations.
Last year’s winner was Kristin Stoddard Petrie, formerly of Massena.
This year’s winner will receive the top prize, $1,000 and five hours of recording studio time.
The band opens up the show Friday at 7 p.m., and the singing begins at 8 at the Alex Duffy Watertown Fairgrounds.