Over 100 singers delivered some jaw-dropping performances at the Avenues Mall Wednesday for the second annual "Oh Say Can You Sing" competition.
The singing auditions, sponsored by Family Practice Associates of Orange Park, took place center stage at the mall from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The crowd was steady all day to sign their forms, get a number and then wait their turn to sing. In all 127 people from children to senior citizens had performed.
The judges heard everything from rock and pop to gospel and country.
News4Jax's Nikki Kimbleton hosted the auditions.
While the finalists will perform the national anthem on Channel 4's Star Spangled Fourth special on Independence Day, they were asked to perform another song during their auditions.
Singers had only 1 minute to show off their voice and we did not want to offend anyone by cutting the national anthem short.
Last year's winner, Justen Harden stopped by to serenade the crowd.
“It’s cool to be on live TV on the 4th and shocking when it actually happened to win and then the pressure of having to sing the national anthem right there, so it was cool," Harden said. "Since then I've put a band together and we’ve been playing some shows here and there -- just playing local shows.”
Harden said for now the band is just called the Justen Harden band and plays at local restaurants, but they've also opened for country stars Justin Moore and Dierks Bentley.
He said he plans to continue pursuing music and finish his business degree.
Contestant Sid Bosten, who served in the Navy and Air Force, sang Wednesday under his son's name: Anthony. His son died in a boating accident nearly 20 years ago.
Bosten was a finalist last year and stole the stage again Wednesday.
Contestant Jamilia Wells, 20, said she discovered she could sing when she was getting her hair done at a salon as a kid. The hairdresser told her mom, "You need to sign up your kid for singing lessons!" Those lessons paid off. Wells was recently a finalist on American Idol.
A couple dozen of those auditioning Wednesday will be asked to a call-back audition at Channel 4 studios in late April, where they will sing two full songs and interview with judges.
From that group, 10 semifinalists will be chosen and their profiles and call-back auditions will be posted online in early June. Three finalists will be chosen by a group of show producers to perform live during the Fourth of July prime-time special, when viewers will pick the winner through voting.
In addition to singing the national anthem on live television before the fireworks begin, the winner will also receive $500.