Janesville's Zach Molitor bested at Texaco Country Showdown finals
NASHVILLE, TENN.— Janesville teen Zach Molitor's climb through the ranks of a national country music talent contest ended just shy of the top.
Molitor, an 18-year-old Janesville musician, competed Thursday against five finalists in the Texaco Country Showdown national championships Thursday at the Grand Ole Opry's Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
Thursday, Molitor played guitar and sang a seven-minute selection of country music he has written, performing under the stage name Zac Matthews. Molitor and three other acts were bested Thursday by finalist Crystal Yates, a McKinney, Texas native.
Yates walked away with the title, a $100,000 prize and a studio-recording contract.
The Texaco Country Showdown is viewed as country music's top talent search for rising stars of country music. It has been a launch pad for the careers of a contemporary country music stars Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride and Toby Keith, among others.
Thursday's televised competition featured country music superstar Leann Rimes as host.
Molitor reached the national finals in Nashville after he won local and state competitions of the Texaco Showdown earlier this year in Wisconsin and at the competition's regional semifinals in Minnesota.
Molitor told The Gazette earlier this year he plans to pursue a music career in Nashville. He felt that being a Texaco Showdown finalist would give him a national stage— and regardless of the outcome at the finals, a name in the national country music industry