Queenstown songwriting contest going down to wire

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Queenstown’s original songwriting contest is anyone’s for the taking heading into its final night. 

Songstars, which has run for the past two nights at the Arrowtown Hall, features 11 performers showcasing 10 original numbers live. 

The audience members then vote for their favourite song – and co-organiser Margaret O’Hanlon says it’s very tight at the top. 

“It’s incredibly close and anything could happen tonight with the final show.” 

O’Hanlon reveals just a handful of votes are separating first and second, whilst the performers lying third, fourth, fifth and sixth are within no more than 20 votes of the top placings. 

At both Thursday and Friday nights’ shows, Lincoln University student Maggie Ruddenklau, 19, claimed top spot and American-born Wakatipu High graduate Holly Arrowsmith, a 19-year-old Ziptrek Ecotours guide, was runner-up. 

The youngest contestant, 16-year-old Ruby Bain, was voted third on Thursday whilst Irishman Eamonn McNicholas, 28, took third spot on Friday night. 

The winner gets $1000 and the chance to record their song. 

Doors to tonight’s final show open at 7.30pm before it kicks off at 8pm. Tickets are $40 or $20 if aged 15 and under.