People's reactions all around (including my own)ranged from scratching their heads befuddled, to outright (and deeply disappointing) reactions that the competition had been fixed.
This is more than a difference of opinion or preference: there were at least three very talented girls who did not even make the top three. Instead, the very "nothing special at all" Canadian picked for second place seemed an obvious gesture. Considering the influx of Canadian visitors to Hampton recently, and the fact that at least one judge was a former Chamber of Commerce member more than raises an eyebrow.
I spoke with at least twenty people who felt similarly to me that the most obviously talented had been overlooked. Truly, people were remarking everywhere after the judging about this, and very many, as well as myself, can only conclude the competition was not genuine because of how blatant the results.
I do think the third place pick was appropriate, and I am not wanting to be disparaging about the winner, but given that the lackluster performance of the Canadian merited second place, I must say I regard the first place winner as suspect also, since Singers like Ms.Lopez, who gave a meticulous performance,and the woman from Reading MA who sang Hallelujah, and the girl who sang the Rising Sun were overlooked. Also, Much Kudos to the woman whose music was flubbed by the sound people, who continued without music, and gave a powerful performance worthy of the musical career she is pursuing.
Much cynicism here for both residents and tourists.
I will not attend such a charade again. I am embarrassed for Hampton, and very sorry for the girls who entered in good faith, and the judges did not act in such a manner.