A Tucumcari teen won the Texaco Country Showdown Saturday night earning her an opportunity to compete at the State Fair at Albuquerque.
Olana Romero, left, is caught off guard as she is announced as the winner of the local round of the Texaco Country Showdown. Romero holds runner up's Tegan Stewart's , center, hand as Charlie Morrison, general manager of KTNM hands her the winning certificate.
"Thank you everyone, thank you from the bottom of my toes to the top of my crazy hair," said Olana Romero, contest winner. "I also want to thank God, he is No. 1 and has made this all possible."
The Texaco Country Showdown consists of more than 450 local competitions, more than 45 state competitions, one regional competition and the finals held in Nashville, Tenn.
The winner of the contest receives $100,000 and a one-year recording contract.
Romero will now travel to compete in the state competition held at the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque.
Tucumcari radio stations KQAY and KTNM sponsored the local round of the national contest, which showcased songs from Romero, Feliciana Marie Lovato and Ana Schmit, all of Tucumcari, and Tegan Stewart of Albuquerque.
More than 100 residents attended the event held at the Pow Wow Lizard Lounge. The contestants each sang one song and were judged by the pannel of judges — Doug Powers, Daniel Lopez, Diane Morency, Patsy Gresham and Brenda Bishop.
Lopez said the crowd was really into the talent which was on display. He said it was a difficult dicision to choose the winner.
At the end of the contest Romero stood aside Stewart as Charlie Morrison, general manager of KTNM, announced her as the winner of the contest. Stewart, the runner-up will have the chance to perform if Romero can not attend the competition.
Romero said she was shocked to win.
"I just kept thinking, 'This girl standing next to me is so good,'" Romero said.
Romero said she never thought a contest like this would come anywhere near Tucumcari. She said when it was announced there would be a local competition she decided she would never know if she was good enough unless she tried.
Romero said as part of the entry process she had to record herself singing and submit it to the contest — a step that was easier said than done.
Romero said she was not happy with her first recording,
"If that is what I sound like, maybe I shouldn't enter the competition," Romero remembered telling herself. She said she was able to find someone with the proper equipment and was able to record a better version.
"It gave me shivers, hearing myself sing on the recording, " Romero said. "I just prayed I sounded like (that) in front of people."
Romero said she has a huge support group which pushed her to enter the contest. She said she will need them even more as she prepares to go to Tucumcari.
"I am going to go out there and show them what Tucumcari has to offer," Romero said.