2012-03-30 / Front Page

Talent show a class act

Performers vied for $500 grand prize, bragging rights
By Darleen Principe darleen@theacorn.com


HEARTFELT— With his performance of “Amor de los Dos,” 39-year-old Moorpark resident Hector Lopez, above, beat out 11 other acts to win the Moorpark Has Talent competition at the High Street Arts Center on March 24. Below left, Ellie Ziemer, 14, sings as part of the competition which included a variety of artists. 
IRIS SMOOT/Acorn Newspapers HEARTFELT— With his performance of “Amor de los Dos,” 39-year-old Moorpark resident Hector Lopez, above, beat out 11 other acts to win the Moorpark Has Talent competition at the High Street Arts Center on March 24. Below left, Ellie Ziemer, 14, sings as part of the competition which included a variety of artists. IRIS SMOOT/Acorn Newspapers Hector Lopez is not a professional vocalist, but he does like to sing in the shower.

The 39-year-old Moorpark resident, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, took home the first-place prize of $500 last Saturday after winning the third annual Moorpark Has Talent show.

Dressed in Mexican mariachi garb, the amateur singer wowed the audience and judges with his rendition of “Amor de los Dos,” a Spanish ballad by famous Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez.

“I’m pretty excited to win this talent show,” Lopez said. “This is the first time I’ve ever won something like that.”

A total of 12 acts, chosen from dozens of contestants who auditioned for the show in February, performed during the March 24 event at High Street Arts Center.

The top three winners of the competition were named after the audience and a panel of local judges—John Lopreino, Aileen Scott and Erin Fagundes— voted for their favorites.

The Diabolo Divas, a Chinese yo-yo act by 11-year-old girls Kristen Szczepanek and Corrina Edwards, took home the secondplace prize of $300.

And the break- dancing team of Eliseo Zavala, Michael Valdivia, Justin Lamm and Alejandro Solano—who go by the name Rebel Alliance—won third place with a prize of $200.

Lopez said the competition was close, given the wide range of talented acts in the show.

“ I felt pretty confident though,” he said. “I always feel confident when I sing.”

Although he has no formal vocal training, Lopez said music has always been a part of his family.

His father plays the keyboard and guitar, while his older sister also enjoys singing.

“We never take lessons,” he said. “It’s just natural.”

The contest winner has only competed once before— at a karaoke contest in Chula Vista last year, where he was awarded second place.

After the results of that contest came in, a group of mariachi musicians argued with the judges because they thought Lopez should have won first place, he said.

“I was kind of disappointed, but that’s life,” he said.

An 11-year resident of Moorpark and a professional contractor, Lopez said he sometimes performs for free at parties put on by his friends and family.

But winning last weekend’s contest has encouraged him to pursue music on a more regular basis.

“I’m going to be looking for (more contests),” he said. “It was a really nice experience.

Other acts who performed Saturday were singers Corina Gonzales and Lexie Zastrow, teen band What Goes Up, singer and guitarist Kristen Jones, and dancers Maddie Padilla and Hayley Myers.

Young magician Benjamin Myers and tap dancer Breonna Madrigal also competed at the show.

As the winner of this year’s event, Lopez will be invited to perform for the community during the Moorpark Arts Festival on April 28.

“ I’m ready,” he said. “ I can’t wait.”

Return to top