Songbird Katy McNeill wins Songstars

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Queenstown-born songbird Katy McNeill has taken out top spot at the inaugural Songstars competition.

McNeill wowed crowds over three nights – last Thursday, Friday and Saturday – belting out her original song Freedom at Memorial Hall and nabbed the most votes in the crowd-voting system.

Wakatipu High head boy Max Gunn claimed second-place, with Aussie teen Jazzmine Pearse coming third over three nights out of twelve contestants.

Organiser Margaret O’Hanlon says the nightly voting “was just ridiculously close”.

“It was really cool that way – I think the good part about that was when you’re dealing with original artists and their own material, it comes down to preference.”

But O’Hanlon adds talented McNeill is “just outstanding” and deserved the win.

O’Hanlon is already planning next year’s gig – this time during New Zealand music month in May – after great feedback from the community.

“I’m very happy with the outcome. The response from people has been really brilliant.”

“And everybody is proud because it’s completely original – it’s nice that that sort of talent is within the community and then to see it celebrated on the big stage…”