Arts News 

Rachel Thom enters second round of international talent search

Well, she's one step closer.

Local songstress Rachel Thom has made into the second round of the international AVON Voices singing competition. She's now one of the top 20 singers in North America and one of the top 100 in the world.

"I'm excited about it," she says, "but I'm worried about it for the next stage because there are so many of us that will be cut."

Seventy-five women will be cut in fact, but that Thom made it to the second round at all is quite an achievement. She was one of 182 women chosen to compete in the talent search, which had thousands of submissions worldwide.

The original competitors were split into five regional categories - Asia Pacific; Central and Eastern Europe; Latin America; North America; and Western Europe, Middle East and Africa. In March, Thom was flown down to Nashville to record her first and second round performance videos.

Twenty women from each region have now been picked for the second round. A combination of public votes and critiques from guest judges will determine which 25 contestants will move on to the next round.

Thom received notification Tuesday morning via email that she had been selected for round two.

People had one month to vote and a total 1,765,523 votes were cast. She says she has "no idea" how many votes she received - "We're not allowed to know," she says - but since the first article about Thom's involvement in the competition appeared in Pique last month, she has heard from dozens of people who say they have voted for her.

But will she make it into round three? She says she doesn't know.

"I feel like I have a lot of performing experience and star power that maybe a lot of these girls don't. They may not have the experience or also the personality, although their voices are good," she says.

"I hope the judges are looking for the whole package deal and I feel that, based on my combination of all those things, I could make it into the top 25."

Her round two performance video, a cover of Celine Dion's "That's the Way It Is," is online now, along with the other 99 contestants. Voting ends on June 20 and those moving to the next round will be announced shortly after.

The winner of the competition will be announced early next year and will have the chance to record a professionally produced album.

To vote, visit and click on 'Performances.' Each person can vote 18 times per performer.

Tickets for Vibe's year-end show selling fast

Speaking of Thoms, Rachel's brother and sister-in-law, Jeremy and Heather, own the Vibe Dance Centre. Did you know this? It's quite a family, those Thoms. And we hear their dance centre is a fine dance centre, and every year in June they hold a year-end dance show.

Well, if you're keen on checking out this year-end show you better jump on some tickets. Like, right now. They're a hot item and selling fast.

This year's show, "Fairy Rhymes & Nursery Tales," will be rife with humour, surprising twists and fun for all ages, as they say. And it will have dancing. Lots and lots of dancing, with local kids of all ages, including the Vibe Tribe Dance Team, doing twists and leaps and all sorts of other dance-y things.

This is an original show, created and produced by Heather Thom, featuring an original score by Jeremy.

Performances are on June 17 at 6:30 p.m., June 18 at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and June 19 at 1:30 p.m. Buy tickets ( right now! ) at or call 604-935-8410.



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