The 2014 Tamworth Country Music Festival’s Star Maker competition has been won by Jared Porter.
A light drizzling of rain at the start of the night hasn’t stopped a crowd of thousands coming out to see Queenslander Jared Porter win the 2014 Star Maker at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
The McClymonts, Lee Kernaghan, The Wolfe Brothers and last year’s Star Maker award winner Kaylee Bell all performed at Friday’s grand final at Tamworth’s Bicentennial Park.
After the awards, Porter told reporters he was nervous for a week before the contest.
He also said he wasn’t expecting his name to be called.
“When heard my name I was … just in awe,” he said.
“Everybody (the finalists) was just unreal.
“I watched them all side of stage I was … shocked.”
Porter, who is originally from the US, said many of his family members and friends made it to Tamworth to see him win the prize. But his father watched via live feed from the US.
Past Star Maker winners include Keith Urban and Lee Kernaghan.
As winner, Porter will receive a recording and distribution deal, album launch at the Gympie Muster, a return trip to Nashville and a 12-month mentorship with Lee Kernaghan.
The other finalists were Damien Agius from North Eton, Queensland, Tori Darke from Harrington Park, NSW and Johnny Taylor from Pinjarra, Western Australia.
After the show, finalist Johnny Taylor admitted to AAP he would have preferred if he’d won the competition but said all the finalists were amazing performers.
He’s unsure whether he’ll return to Star Maker next year but says his heart is set on a country music career.