FameCast, the leading online artist discovery competition and entertainment community designed to find America’s best up-and-coming talent, is currently airing its Season 3 Finals Webcasts and will begin announcing winners from the 12 different categories — Rock, Pop, Country, Hip-Hop/R&B, Singer-Songwriter, Electronic, Spiritual, Latin, Spoken Word, Film & Animation, Comedy and Dance — daily from Dec. 10 though 22 at FameCast.com.
The webcast shows have two distinct components. First, FameCast airs its live Finals shows, wherein the Top 5 artists (as determined by online voters) in each of FameCast’s 12 categories battled it out earlier this month live at legendary Austin clubs Stubb’s and Antone’s in front of an audience and a panel of entertainment industry veterans. Online voters will determine which act in each of the 12 categories will each earn the grand prize of $10,000 and international exposure that comes with being crowned a “FameCast Fēnom.” The winners will be announced nightly at 9 p.m. EST Dec. 10-22, wrapping up a four-month season of online competition among the more than 2,600 artists who uploaded videos to FameCast.com in September.
Secondly, in conjunction with each Fēnom announcement, FameCast will air a reality show-style special, complete with behind-the-scenes artist interviews and the critiques FameCast’s industry panelists delivered to each artist in front of a live audience after their onstage performance. This opportunity of a lifetime put up-and-coming artists face-to-face with experts ranging from Bon Jovi’s manager Paul Korzilius to Nashville veteran and Grammy-winning songwriter Trey Bruce.
For the first time in FameCast history, the judges listed below will, in addition to supplying webcast commentary, select one act from each of the 12 categories as a “Critics’ Pick.” These winners will be announced in tandem with the Fēnom in each category. The Critics’ Pick winners will receive incredible insider opportunities such as exclusive mentor sessions with first-rate managers and industry tastemakers, critiques from A&R personnel and high-end equipment, all of which will help the chosen acts take their career to the next level of success.
FameCast Season 3 Finals: Webcast Event Schedule
Rock: Webcast Premieres Dec. 3
Winners announced Dec. 10 at 9 p.m. EST
· Judges are writer Aaron Burgess (Spin, The Onion AV Club, Alternative Press, Harp, Revolver); writer Gary Graff (New York Times Features Syndicate, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Billboard.com); and Paul Korzilius, manager of superstar rock group Bon Jovi since 1992.
· Spotlight acts included intense, guitar-heavy sets by New Jersey’s Tool-influenced Akora, Texas’ crowd-rousing Death Got Killed, Ohio’s Look Afraid, Dallas, TX’s End This All and Maxwell Adams from Pinole, California.
Pop: Webcast Premieres Dec. 4
Winners announced Dec. 11 at 9 p.m. EST
· Judges are Suretone Records A&R representative Jana Crandal, former Universal Music Group representative and current Scoop Marketing associate Erik Stein, The Source’s Soren Baker.
· Performances included soon-to-be hit songs by 16-year-old Julia Lucafo, Austin favorite versatile vocalist Wendy Colonna, L.A.’s pop/R&B fave Honore, and a pair of terrific bands: St. Paul, Minnesota’s reggae/ska-touched The Limns and Halfpenny Marvel from Illinois.
HipHop/R&B: Webcast airs Premieres. 5
Winners announced Dec. 12 at 9 p.m. EST
· Featured judge is Soren Baker, Executive Editor of The Source magazine and writer for the Los Angeles Times. Panel also includes Crandal and Stein.
· Exciting hip-hop sets came from electrifying, crowd favorites Boombox ATX (featuring a full band), Chicago’s strong and diverse WDB, Cali’s Jendor and Honore’ and Austin’s pride, Shaliek Allah.
Singer-Songwriter: Webcast Premieres Dec. 6
Winners announced Dec. 13 at 9 p.m. EST
· Judges are Burgess, Graff and Korzilius.
· Intimate sets were put on by Sweden’s Sofia Talvik, a multitalented and heartfelt set from keyboardist/guitarist Julie Moffitt, moving performances from Rory Miller and Wendy Colonna, and memorable tracks from touring pro The Real Matt Jones.
Comedy: Webcast Premieres Dec. 7
Winners announced Dec. 14 at 9 p.m. EST
· Judges include Nick Zaino, writer of the Comedy Notes column for the Boston Globe and comedy/music freelance writer; and national headlining comedian John Evans, featured performer on NBC’s Last Comic Standing.
· Hilarious sets were given by Skippy Greene, whose ‘40s-era persona inspired Milton Berle and George Burns comparisons; NYC’s Shang, a longtime pro and fixture on BET; Athens, GA’s Craig Carmean, who seamlessly transitioned from Tenacious D-type songs to joke sets; knee-slapping shenanigans from Ontario’s Joe Crawford; and Cali’s Don Ricardo, who had the crowd laughing out loud.
Electronic: Webcast Premieres Dec. 8
Winners announced Dec. 15 at 9 p.m. EST
Judges include producer extraordinaire and founding member of Pitchshifter JS Clayden; Francis Preve, producer of six #1 Billboard remixes in 2007; and Ray Seggern aka Ray Dog, host of 101X-FM’s Chillville.
· Tulsa, OK’s Recorder impressed with cardboard robot costumes and a unique robot sound to match; London’s Hotel Motel and Martin Degville’s Sputnik showed off their legendary styles; England’s Fiona So Piang gave a fascinatingly original performance; and Pittsburgh’s energetic Pfunkt commanded the audience with crowd-pleasing stage dives and dance circles.
Spiritual: Webcast Premieres Dec. 10
Winners announced Dec. 17 at 9 p.m. EST
Featured judge is Doug Van Pelt, founder, editor and publisher of HM Magazine. Panel also includes Trey Bruce and Mariana Diaz.
· Kansas’ In Your Honor gave an awesome metal performance with amazing energy; Texas youngsters A Road Less Traveled put on an explosive show to rave reviews; Texas’ Lisette Cole’s unveiled haunting keyboards and melodic songwriting; West Virginia’s Nick Fry sang praiseworthy songs of worship; and Nadine Grey of Washington, D.C. performed with soulful verve.
Country: Webcast Premieres Dec. 11
Winners announced Dec. 18 at 9 p.m. EST
Featured judge is Nashville-based Trey Bruce, the musician, songwriter and producer who has had more than 50 of his songs recorded by country music’s top stars, with five #1 singles as well as numerous Top 5 and Top 10 singles and a 2001 Emmy. Panel also includes Van Pelt and Diaz.
· Nashville’s Laurie Killian Starr showed that she’s primed for the big time with her polished pop-country sound; Oklahoma’s Kayla Rummell sang her heart out; Tennessee’s DeWayne Spaw had plenty of twang in his passionate delivery; Louisiana’s Shannon Haley put on a promising set; and Arizona’s Billy Sarongs invoked all the country greats who influenced him.
Latin: Webcast Premieres Dec. 12
Winners announced on Dec. 19 at 9 p.m. EST
The featured judge is Mariana Diaz, on-air personality and creative director of 107.1 FM Superestrella, Los Angeles, one of the country’s top Spanish-language radio stations. Panel also includes Van Pelt and Bruce.
· Origen’s unique Spanish Rock from Miami made waves with a Courtney Love-style frontwoman; Puerto Rico’s energetic Anima 5 blew the crowd away; and noteworthy sets came courtesy of New Jersey’s Lily Vasquez; Chicago’s Tommy Lyon; and Hollywood’ s Brian Torres.
Dance: Webcast Premieres Dec. 13
Winners announced on Dec. 20 at 9 p.m. EST
Judges include Philly Soul’s Lindsay Rodolico; #1 Austin Choreographer Andrea Ariel of Ariel Dance Theatre; and BBoy City’s Romeo Navarro.
· Austin’s Santos made for a great blend of footwork and power moves, with his trademark head slide; Austin’s amazing aerial dance troupe Blue Lapis Light made jaws drop; Giovani Danzatori from Rome, Italy made an explosive stateside debut; and St. Petersburg, FL’s Kristen and Houston’s Pac Man shook their moneymakers all over the dancefloor.
Spoken Word: Webcast Premieres Dec. 14
Winners announced on Dec. 21 at 9 p.m. EST
The featured judge is Mike Henry, artistic director and producer for the 2006 and 2007 National Poetry Slams. Panel also includes Zaino and Evans.
· Las Vegas’ Knowledge focused on politically-charged Hurricane Katrina and post-9/11 pieces; LaBlaque MC‘s booming voice was larger than life, just like his hometown of Vegas; Tranzit Thought of Providence, RI drew upon his teaching experiences for a thought-provoking set; St. Louis’ The Wordsmith lived up to his literary moniker; and Austin’s Faylita Hicks gave an impassioned, poetic discourse.
Film & Animation: Webcast Premieres Dec. 15
Winner announced on Dec. 22 at 9 p.m. EST
Featured judges include John Merriman of the Austin Film Festival; Anne Walker, executive producer for director Richard Linklater; and screenwriter Alex Smith, whose credits include some of Hollywood’s top films.
Andrea Ou of Taiwan and California impressed with her film “The Tricycle”; Austin’s Bradley Jackson comedy had the audience in an uproar; and fresh works debuted from original voice’s Tony Villalobos of Houston; NYC’s David Watson; and L.A.’s Life on Its Side Productions.
Past FameCast Fēnoms are already on the move in the entertainment industry. Season Two Rock Fēnoms Tripdavon recently had their winning song featured on HBO’s Entourage. Season Two Armed Forces winner Mike Corrado recently began writing with film and TV producers in Los Angeles, while Season Two Short Film and Animation Fēnoms were featured in a screening at the L.A. International Shorts Festival. Season One R&B Fēnom Melissa Suzanne’s was featured on a Sony compilation disc. Season One Country Fēnom Eric Michael Hopper rocketed to #1 on Clear Channel Radio’s New Music Country Chart, and also found success with FameCast’s user-generated Big State Big Star contest, through which he earned a spot on the lineup of the inaugural Big State Festival where he joined Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson and 50 other acts to entertain more than 50,000 fans.
Born in Austin, Texas – The Live Music Capital of the World – FameCast (promo reel - www.famecast.com/promo/) is the first online competition designed to find America's best new talent. Understanding that lack of exposure is what keeps some of our best artists in the shadows, we aim to shine the spotlight on those that have what it takes, but have lacked the breaks.
FameCast provides artists a real opportunity to connect to a nationwide audience and compete for real prizes: $10,000 and national exposure. We hope to find artists that are serious about their craft and are ready to take their work to the next level. To the artists, the FameCast contests promise to be their most exciting gig yet, as they showcase their talent in an effort to advance to stardom through an exciting weekly contest. To the audience, FameCast provides an unprecedented opportunity to see a wide array of talented new performers, and the ability to help their favorites through a high-stakes competition, tracking results all the way.
FameCast was founded by Kent Savage, a 20-year veteran entrepreneur in the internet and digital media space. He leads a seasoned management team consisting of CMO Matt Hovis, COO Dave Hampton, CTO Wes Schiesz and CSO Erik Smith. FameCast’s Advisory Board includes a stellar lineup of industry heavyweights including Charles Attal of Charles Attal Presents and C3 Management and Promotions; Paul Korzilius; Randy Phillips, President & CEO of AEG Live; and Duff Stewart, President & COO of GSD&M’s Idea City.
Fan voting determines which artists advance to each round of competition. FameCast has enjoyed a growing roster of over 6,000 talented independent artists since its Season 1 debut this year. FameCast holds three 4-month “seasons” of competition per year, each of which culminates in a finals event wherein 60 acts come to Austin for live performances which are webcast at FameCast.com. See www.famecast.com for more information.