Doug Gabriel and 1st Branson Idol, Carrie Joy Andreas
From over 500 who auditioned to one winner, the first Branson Idol season wrapped up with Andreas winning the title after the six months of Friday night competitions at the Legends Family Theatre in Branson, according to Doug Gabriel, the creator and producer of the show. Andreas won a prize package which included $5,000 cash sponsored by Pepsi and a recording session and management contract with Gabriel. She was also a featured performer at several venues in Branson: on stage in Doug Gabriel and Roy Clark - Together Again, on radio with KRZK's Grand Country Saturday Night and on television in Live Late Night with Joey Riley.
Payton Kane from Dodson, Texas, came in a very close second in the finals which featured the top five narrowed down to two by celebrity judges with the audience of more than 800 casting the final votes.
"I appreciate the support from the community, the sponsors and our guest judges like Tony Orlando, Pam Tillis, Ronnie McDowell, Moe Bandy, Mickey Gilley, Larry Gatlin, Merle Osmond, Buck Trent, Jessica James, Janet Ellis and Terry Sanders," said Doug who stars in The Doug Gabriel Show celebrating its 11th season and co-stars in Doug Gabriel and Roy Clark - Together Again in Branson. "The great support is one reason why the premier year for Branson Idol was such a success. Carrie Joy and Payton set the bar high for next year's Branson Idol. We will begin auditions in January for the 2005 competition. Our first auditions will be held in