14-year-old Wunder-kind wins OHT!
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
Freshman Alex Wunder was, well, pretty wonderful, as he parlayed a rousing rendition of Frankie Valli’s “December 1963” (“Oh, What A Night”) into a win in Saturday’s Ohio Has Talent! competition at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.
Wunder, a 14-year-old who attends Fairmount High School in the Dayton suburb of Kettering, won $500 and lots of applause from the large crowd that attended the event. According to NPAC officials, approximately 200 people showed up for tickets at the door to swell the crowd to nearly 1,000.
In second place was Courtney Bettinger, a sophomore at Coldwater High School who covered Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire.” She earned $250 for her performance. Third place went to 16-year-old Jon Albert of Fort Wayne, Ind., who gyrated his way through a hip-hop dance number to earn a $100 prize.
An honorable mentions went to Michaella Johnson, a 12-year-old Van Wert girl and student of voice teacher Jake Wilder who has competed in Ohio Has Talent! several times, starting when she was just 6 years old. She sang a medley of songs from the Disney movie Princess and the Frog.
Also earning an honorable mention was the Country singing duo of Paul Luft and Ben Tuttle, who sang The Mavericks’ hit “All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down.”
Other performers from Saturday included singer Kristy Ressler of Fostoria; rapper Michael Littleton of Columbus; dancer Ann Brake, 16, and her pianist-singer brother, James, 23, both of Ohio City; singer Emma Wurst, 16, of Delphos; singer Gabrielle Emerick, 13, a student at Crestview Middle School; singer Grace Stammen, 17, of St. Henry; singer Rachel Werling, a fourth-grader at St. Henry Elementary School; singer Matison Lyons, 16, of Springfield; singer Bryn Dippold, 13, of Coldwater; 20-year-old singer Hannah Wyse of Bryan; Van Wert pianist Scott Turner, 18; singer Rachel Green, 15, of Rockford; singer Natalee Patrick, an eighth-grader at Elida Middle School; and singer Catrina Lang, a senior at St. Wendelin High School in Fostoria (click here for individual photos of performers).
Also performing was 2012 Ohio Has Talent! winner Cameron Jones of Delphos, who was also an Ohio Idol finalist. Jones, who is now a sophomore at Delphos Jefferson High School, later made the decision to drop out of the contest because of contractual commitments that could have affected his schooling.
Of course, the big winner Saturday night was Community Health Professionals’ Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center, which received the proceeds from the benefit show.
Judges for the show were Kim Mason, Tricia