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KIDZ Star USA Talent Search held at Six Flags Magic Mountain

13-year-old girl from Pennsylvania named winner

Posted: September 30, 2013 5:35 p.m.
Updated: September 30, 2013 5:35 p.m.

KIDZ Bop Kids, Eva Agathis, Elijah Johnson, and Kiana Brown (left to right) take center stage while performing during the KIDZ Star USA Talent Search finale event in Six Flags Magic Mountain Saturday. Signal photo by Natalee Ayala

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SANTA CLARITA - More than 20,000 kids entered the annual KIDZ Star USA Talent Search, but only one was named winner at the finale event Saturday in Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Four finalists competed for the grand prize, singing songs chosen by judges, including celebrity judge and mentor Jennette McCurdy, former star of the hit Nickelodeon show “iCarly.”

KIDZ Star USA is a singing talent competition, a kind of “American Idol” for kids. It allows kids ages 5-12 from across the country to audition online at or live at select venues, with the winner also announced live at a venue.

This year’s grand prize included a recording contract with RCA Records, a starring role in a music video, as well as a guest spot in the upcoming KIDZ Bop TV commercial.

After singing her rendition of Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire,” 13-year-old Isabel Lacatus won the coveted prize.

Lacatus traveled from Reading, Pa., with her family for the competition. This was her second time entering the contest.

“It’s just amazing because last time I didn’t make it through,” Lacatus said. “Just getting to the top 10, then to the top four, then being a winner — the whole process was unbelievable.”

Lacatus’ mom and dad, Liliana and Dorel, shed a few tears upon her big win.

“There’s no way to describe when you have a 13-year-old girl that has such a talent,” Dorel Lacatus said. “I don’t know — it’s just amazing, so amazing.”

Isabel Lacatus expressed her admiration of the program.

“Entering it, and even making it to the top 10, is a blast,” she said. “Even if you don’t win, the experience is amazing and you can only get stronger from it.”

KIDZ Bop co-founder Cliff Chenfeld was thrilled with the outcome of the event.

“There’s really nothing for kids. You know, there’s obviously ‘American Idol,’ and occasionally a 15- or a 16-year old will get in,” Chenfeld said. “But kids who are younger, they really, more than ever, want the opportunity to sing and perform in front of other people — there’s no, sort of, national talent competition — so we created KIDZ Star.”

The finale event featured a concert with appearances from the KIDZ Bop Kids and Dallas Wayde, who won last year’s competition. It also included DJ Young 1, the 11-year-old spinning sensation featured in America’s ‘Got Talent Season 8’ competition as one-half of the 2Unique duo.

The KIDZ Bop Kids performed hits from their latest album, KIDZ Bop 24, which reached the No. 3 spot in the Billboard 200 album chart.

Music from the album features kid-friendly renditions of popular hits, including Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” and Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie.”



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