Who will win Tamworth Country Music Festival Star Maker talent quest in 2017?

FUTURE STARS: Country legend Lee Kernaghan with 2016 winner Karin Page at the Star Maker Grand final. Photo:Gareth Gardner
FUTURE STARS: Country legend Lee Kernaghan with 2016 winner Karin Page at the Star Maker Grand final. Photo:Gareth Gardner

THEY could be the next Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan or Kaylee Bell in just a few short weeks.

The top 10 finalists in the Toyota Star Maker competition were announced on Friday morning where ten of Australia’s top emerging talent will vie for the honour of becoming the 38th Toyota Star Maker in a winner-takes-all, event.

2015 winner Mickey Pye

2015 winner Mickey Pye

For the very first time in Star Maker history, the event will be free, with all 10 finalists being judged on the night, with one winner emerging on Sunday, January 22.

Festival goers will be able to witness history in the making.

The 2017 Toyota Star Maker finalists, chosen from across the country, are Andrew Swift from Berwick, Victoria, Angus Gill from Wauchope, Brook Chivell of Labrador Queensland, Cassidy Rae Gaiter, Flagstaff Hill South Australia, Jade Holland of Balgal Beach Queensland, Liam Kennedy-Clark from Sippy Downs Queensland, Meg Doherty, Pakenham Victoria, Megan Sidwell, Melbourne Victoria, Michelle Plozza, Kingston Queensland and Rachael Fahim of Cherrybrook NSW.

The winner will receive a prize package which includes a new Toyota vehicle, an unlimited fuel card for 12 months to transport them around the country, plus guaranteed performances at major festivals and events throughout Australia.

Toyota Star Maker co-ordinator Cheryl Byrnes said she was delighted with the standard of performers applying for Toyota Star Maker 2017.

“Toyota Star Maker is a fabulous opportunity and it truly is getting harder to judge each year as entrants raise the bar,” Ms Byrnes said. 

“It’s a great platform and gives the finalists and the winner a jumpstart in their careers. For the winner, the title also brings exposure to invaluable contacts in the industry and a variety of exciting challenges.”

Toyota Australia sales and marketing executive director Tony Cramb was thrilled with the exciting changes to the long-established quest.

“It’s a wonderful thing that Star Maker will now be so much more accessible to a worldwide audience, through live-streaming in the park, and an absolutely free event for the public,” Mr Cramb said.

“Toyota is very proud of its long association with this prestigious quest and we offer our hearty congratulations to the 2017 finalists.”