‘Guilty’ man wins Queenstown song contest

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A fourth-generation Stewart Islander has beaten home-grown Queenstown musos to win the resort’s original songwriting contest, Songstars.

Guitarist Tai Forrester, who’s gaining a reputation in the local music scene, won the audience vote all three nights of the contest to be crowned the 2014 winner last night (Saturday) at the Queenstown Memorial Centre.

Forrester, 27, sang Guilty, which he says was inspired by a girl: “I planned to go out with this girl, I went out with her and it didn’t go as planned.”

The winner’s main prize is a trip to Auckland to record with Kiwi music hotshot Mike Chunn.

Second prize went to Queenstown-raised singer/guitarist Thomas Brinsley who performed a showstopping number called Icarus.

Brinsley was consistently voted runner-up by all three audiences.

The overall third prize went to locally-raised siblings Isla and Finley Brentwood for their song Something New.

Brentwood, as the duo’s called, placed third on both Thursday and Friday, though that spot was filled last night by Queenstowner Tania Carter who sang What Drives You.

Ten contestants entered this year’s fourth Songstars which was once again was produced and directed by local show business personality Margaret O’Hanlon.

The MC was local actress Fiona Stephenson.

Performers were all supported by a band of musicians and backing vocals.