The stars aligned under the Texas sky Tuesday, March 14, as semifinalists in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ Rodeo Rockstar Competition took The Junction Stage for a live performance.


The competition, which began in 2012, gives non-professional musicians a chance to showcase their talents online for a shot to perform and receive feedback from local music industry leaders.


Open auditions for the 2017 competition were held in January. More than 60 entries were submitted via YouTube and then voted on by the general public. More than 47,000 votes were cast to determine the Top 20 finalists.


The contestants who received the most votes online — 10 in the junior division and 10 in the senior division — advanced to the semifinals and earned the chance to sing live.


The judges for the live semifinal round were radio station 100.3 The Morning Bull’s Cowboy Dave, Houston Chronicle music critic, Joey Guerra, and RODEOHOUSTON® Concert Video Director, Phil Nudelman. Together, they chose the top five from each division moving on to the final round.


Of the top 10 finalists, guitarist Ethan Sparks, 18, said performing on stage and being a part of his rock band, Nostalgia, is special to not only him, but his family as well.


“My grandpa was in a rock band when he was younger and that’s where I got all my guitars,” Sparks said. “He is definitely my inspiration.”


Contestant Christina Colocado, 13, who made it through to the finals, celebrated her accomplishment and said she will be practicing every day until the next round.


“I feel so amazed I made it into the finals and so proud of myself for all the work I have put in throughout the years,” Christina said.


The Rodeo Rockstar Finals will be held, Tuesday, March 21, at The Junction Stage. Ten contestants will compete for the ultimate prize of a day in the recording studio with Stormy Cooper Media, a performance in the 2018 Downtown Rodeo Parade and a $500 check from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.


View the complete list of finalists here.