Fink wins Michiana Idol

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PLYMOUTH — It was the final round of Michiana Idol, a singing contest held by Sturgis, Mich. radio station WBET 99.3. Chelsea Fink, once one of 50 original contestants, had traveled to Sturgis from Nappanee every weekend since Oct. 1, slowly advancing in the competition. She had made it to the very end, the Nov. 5 final performance—and she wasn’t feeling very confident.
“There was really good competition,” said Fink. “I was thinking that I wasn’t going to win because everyone was really good.”
Fink and eight other finalists belted out their last songs, each of them praying to sway the judges in their favor. Fink said that out of the three songs she chose for the last round, one was special to her—the Christian song “You’re Not Alone,” by Meredith Andrews.
“I chose the songs that I felt probably fit my voice best,” said Fink, “but for my song of choice I wanted to sing (a song) that really meant something to me.”
Fink ultimately won the contest, taking home a $993 cash prize and hopes to record sometime in the near future. One of the judges, owner of the Sturgis theatre the contest was held in, also offered Fink a job. She will be working at the theatre for future talent shows held there.
“I was in shock,” said Fink of winning the contest. “I was really surprised but happy. I’m definitely blessed.”
Fink said that although there were some similarities between the contest and Fox’s popular show, American Idol, a Simon Cowell-type judge wasn’t one of them.
“There weren’t any mean judges,” said Fink. “They were all really encouraging. One of (the judges) said, ‘Be a performer from the moment you get on stage to the moment you leave.’ That helped me out a lot.”
Fink said that she has been singing since middle school, but never explored it as a career. Beyond doing talent shows in school and winning one karaoke contest, she had also never competed before Michiana Idol. Her family, she said, is excited about her win and encouraging her to pursue singing professionally.
“I have a lot of support,” said Fink, smiling. “(My family) is trying to get me to start doing more things.”