Valley voices take the stage

19 March 2012

FORT KENT– The police department received a call on Friday night because so many people were at the regional Northern Star competition at the University of Maine at Fort Kent that they were parking illegally along the street and passing cars were unable to squeeze between the lines of vehicles.

Emily Marin


Three finalists and a singing group led the collection of entertainers who performed at the Fort Kent competition, and they will challenge other top entertainers in the final show at the Caribou Performing Arts Center this Sunday.

Local singers Indya Ouellette, 15, of Madawaska and Emily Marin, 12, of Fort Kent kept the house on the edge of their seats, and the The Triplets took the top spot in the new group category. The Triplets is made up of Naomi and Nokomi Ouellet, both 15, and 13-year-old Ariane Richard of Clair, all from Lac Baker, New Brunswick.

Judges also chose Megan Ouellette, 19, of Clair, New Brunswick.

Marin sang “Breathe” by Taylor Swift, Indya Ouellette sang Loretta Lynne's “You Ain't Woman Enough,” and Megan Ouellette sang “Many the Miles” by Sarah Bereilles. The Triplets belted out Selena Gomez' “Love You Like a Love Song.”

Indya Ouellette


Local Judge Scott Voisine wrote on FaceBook, “The St. John Valley brought it on last night with all the talent at Northern Star.”

In a phone interview, he said, “The Valley always brings really great talent to these things.”The top singers from the Fort Kent competition will challenge other talented people from Aroostook County for the title of Northern Star on March 25 at the Caribou Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m.

Beth Marin, mother of contestant Emily Marin, encouraged people from  the St. John Valley on both sides of the river to attend the finale in Caribou to cheer on their local talent.

Claudia Stevens, executive director of United Way Aroostook, said, “This is the best of the best.”

The next competition will include nine individuals and three groups. The audience makes the decision on who becomes the Northern Star by casting ballots.

Megan Ouellette


The Northern Star has carried that name since 2011, when the United Way of Aroostook changed the name of the competition from Aroostook Idol.  Since 2005, local entertainers aged 12 and above have competed in three regional competitions before bringing their talent to the finale in Caribou.

All proceeds, which averages about $25,000, go directly to United Way of Aroostook’s annual campaign.

Stevens said, “The ultimate reason that we are involved in this is because the funds raised will help fund 21 agencies and programs from Aroostook County that help the neediest people from Allagash to Benedicta.”

The Triplets

The Triplets



Talent has fallen to Performers Family & Friends

I used to love seeing all the talent going through these competitions. When the whole crowd is ecstatic for a performance, its an almost guaranteed pass... which is a good thing. Unfortunately this year, as one of the winning performances finished... half the auditorium rejoiced. Moving forward in the competition because one has a lot of family and friends present only boosts the performers sense of confidence, that could develop into an ego. We need to be sure to praise our performers, but also comeback with constructive criticism. We're supposed to trust our family and friends, but if they're not honest... how can we ever be sure of ourselves? I was appalled to see the praise given by the performers family and friends to an only mediocre performance.

I'm not sure any talent has fallen

I would like to comment on a post made by KatieBell on 3.20. While understanding their comments, I saw things quite differently. I also attended the "Northern Star" performance on 3.16 and was blown away. After watching 15 solo performances and 4 group performances, I experienced nothing even close to mediocrity. I was moved by the amazing courage, energy, and talent that was displayed by all of the performers. Perhaps there were two shows that evening? At my show the entire auditorium rejoiced after every performance, justifiably so. Having my own children, I am constantly parenting and teaching them the value of hard work, dedication, and improvement. I am certain that I am their toughest critic with more constructive criticism than they can handle. I do agree that confidence is a wonderful attribute for anyone, but must add that my children are far too intelligent and disciplined to acquire an ego from a "fan-voted" competition, even if some of the fans were their friends and family. Support of our friends and family is a wonderful thing. I'm not sure when that became a negative, but I encourage the value of these life long relationships on a regular basis. Fortunately, my kids have the honest friends and families. Lastly, while I appreciate everyone's opinion, I found this one to be a little shallow and not quite understanding what it is to be a parent who teaches their children unwavering principals valued on hard work and improvement, and also not seeing the entire show for it's amazing level of talent. Perhaps there were two shows that evening??

Duplicate posting

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I am one of those

I am one of those family/friends you are referring to and am appalled that you would post something so ingnorant for not only the public to read, but for the performer as well. Stardom arises from talent as well as fan base. There are plenty of pop stars in the public eye who may not be the best vocalist of their time, but have a likeability about them that keeps them at the top of the charts. This performer you write of happens to have a likeability about her that gravitates people towards her and for her age, she was wonderful, deserving of her pass to move forward. I sure hope this experience keeps her motivated to move on because one day she'll be amazing and I'll be proud to say I was one of her fans. If your ignorance does reach her eyes, I pray that she takes your words and uses them as a reason to push harder, rather than break her down.

I Support Certain Performers Too BUT...

Who's to say you know which winner I'm referring to? I've gone to the show before to support a performer, but if I honestly didn't feel they were as good as other performers I did not vote for them. You may have been there to support a performer, which is completely normal; however, voting for them simply because you are there for them does not contribute to selecting the actual talent.

One doesn't have to be very

One doesn't have to be very bright to figure out which performer you referred to. You are entitled to your own opinion, as everyone who was present is, but sometimes things are better left unsaid. Ever heard the saying, "If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?" THAT was the reason for my rebuttle to your comment. Put yourself in my shoes, as a best friend to this little girl's mother, receiving a disturbing telephone call after she reads what you had written. It had melted my heart and gave me goosebumps to see the proud look in her eyes once all was said and done that night. Let them enjoy her accomplishment. She worked extremely hard to prepare for this and it takes a lot of courage to get on stage, especially performing as a soloist. Now, it's a small town and I'm sure as much as she may attempt to keep it from her daughter's ears, it'll make it's way to her. I've already witnessed discussion of it on Facebook today. This is a little girl, a child, who has done nothing to deserve such negative comments posted for the public eye to see. Keep it to yourself next time, YOU obviously don't have a heart.

Noted, it takes courage to

Noted, it takes courage to get on stage and perform like each and every one of these girls did the other night. Also noted, some were better than others, but I have to agree with KatieBell, that this competition (or any similar competition) is not a popularity contest. This is a singing competition - period. I was there as well, and the different applauses for the different performers clearly confirmed that this was a popularity contest. There were clearly better singers that were not chosen because they had fewer friends and family in the audience. Quote: "She worked extremely hard to prepare for this and it takes a lot of courage to get on stage, especially performing as a soloist".....Ummm...they ALL did!!!...Vote for the best singers...Thanks


You all have nothing better to then tear down a girl who gave it her all singing and to have the family support there. If i recall like some posted this is a fundraiser. also if this is somewhat like american idol doesnt the public vote whether or not the best singer get through and if i recall again a few years ago there was a singer on american idol that wasnt the best but kept getting the votes and kept advancing. I thought this person who everyone is talking about sang pretty awesome. And i hope this will push her to prove everyone wrong. as for Katiebell shame on you and your selfsish attitude and thoughts.


As I read the comments here, I am astonished at the attitude. This "competition" is a fundraiser. The point of a fundraiser is to get people to attend, and hence, make donations to the cause, this particular cause being the United Way. I believe everyone who performed showed courage and talent in some form or manner. Remember, we are speaking of children (ages 12-15?) participating in a fund-raising event here. There is not a million-dollar prize to be had by anyone. The fact that the performers families and friends voted for them should be no suprise to anyone. Again, this is a fundraiser! I think all of the "winners" are better than mediocre. I think they are all fabulous and I commend them for participating in a CIVIC activity that promotes community involvement and taking care of our neighbors. I hope someday each and every one of these young people can say it all started with a United Way Fundraiser.... Hey all you "families and friends," I hope you attend this weekend's event as well TO SUPPORT UNITED WAY and vote for your favorite little loved one!

Yayy to SunnyDay

I couldn't agree more! Well said, SunnyDay!!!

Katie Bell - (If thats your real name)

Its sad to see that someone can be so ignorant. I almost feel sorry for you. You must have had a terrible upbringing. Almost sounds to me that your family or friend lost the competition and this is a simple case of bad sportsmanship. Too bad ignorant people like you are allowed to leave such negative comments about young people on this website. Get some class and learn how to live and let live. You should be ashamed of yourself. GET A LIFE!!!