See all rules and regulations below.


Pay the entry fee of $35




Entry Form
Phone contact
Phone contact
The only equipment and backline we will be providing is a sound system, microphones, microphone stands and a keyboard. Please detail what instruments you will be using and how many microphones you will need.

Step 3:


You will receive an email with your LIVE audition time slot. The live auditions will be hosted on September 23rd at the Chocolate Moose in Beckley, WV. Be sure to reply to that email and confirm your audition time or you WILL NOT BE ABLE TO AUDITION.


Rules and Regulations

1. This contest is open to persons of all ages. None of the judges’ immediate family may participate. Contestants under the age of 18 years old may only participate so with the consent of their parent or guardian who must evidence such consent on the application form.

2. Contestants must be amateur singers or entertainers, otherwise be persons who may be involved within the entertainment industry as singers or entertainers on a part-time basis, and do not belong to any professional organization (s) connected with the entertainment industry.

3. Entries for the contest must be received by Merit Music Group by September 16th, 2017 (for scheduling ease, please enter early.) Applicants will be contacted to schedule their specific audition time slot to be hosted at the Chocolate Moose in Beckley, WV on September 23rd.  Entries are subject to time availability of audition openings remaining. Anyone registering after that may not have a chance to compete due to time slot availability.

  1. ENTRY FEE - $25 for any applicants.  Only one entry is needed per band.

  2. Merit Music Group has the right at any time to require proof of identity and/or eligibility. Failure to provide such proof within a reasonable time could result in disqualification from the competition. All personal details and information requested by Merit Music Group by each contestant must be truthful, accurate and in no way misleading. Merit Music Group reserves the right to disqualify any contestant from the competition or auditioning process in its sole discretion, should the contestant at any stage supply untruthful, inaccurate or misleading personal details and/or information or should the contestant be ineligible for the competition pursuant to these rules.

4. By submission of an application and entering into this contest, each contestant represents and warrants his or her compliance with these rules and regulations. No contestant will be permitted to audition unless he or she has acknowledged and agreed to these rules and regulations.

5. By entering, each contestant agrees that Merit Music Group, Friends of Coal, and their successors and assigns have the right to use their names, likenesses, and images of all persons performing for future advertising, promotion and publicity in any manner and in any medium now known or hereafter devised in perpetuity.

6. By participating in this contest, contestants agree to be bound by these rules and the decisions of the judges. Merit Music Group is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the administration of the contest or in the announcement of the prize.

Auditions & Performance

7. Auditions will take place in the Beckley, WV area on September 23rd.  You will receive an email with your audition time slot. The official talent show will take place at Woodrow Wilson High School on October 14th, 2017 between 6:00 and 9:00pm, depending on the amount of entries received.

8. A contestant may perform as a solo act, duo, trio, quartet, group, or band.

9. Contestants MAY NOT utilize live props, back-up singers, dancers or animals. Non human props such as costumes and other accessories are permitted.

10. Contestants may accompany themselves or have one accompaniment of a live musical instrument.

11. Contestants must supply their own background tracks on a single CD or playable source through an Auxiliary cable (ipod, phone, music player, etc.). Background music must be clear of lead vocal singers, only musical band instruments are acceptable and light harmonies.

12. Contestants are not permitted to leave the stage or stage area during their performance. This includes singing or performing within the audience.

13. The time limit for each contestant is 7 minutes. No more than one song may be sung within the 7 minutes. Songs going over 7 minutes will be shut off. Judges will be instructed to not deduct points due to a song being shut off.

14. Contestants may sing the same song as another contestant.

15. No changes in song choice may be made once the contestant has delivered the background CD or music player to the sound person. CD’s and music players must be given to the sound person 15-20 minutes prior to their audition. For the sake of the other contestants and keeping the flow of the contest in order, please be available to perform one hour prior to your audition time. If not you could forfeit your turn and possibly be disqualified. Also - when entering and exiting the stage, please be prompt.

16. Songs containing vulgar or explicit sexual lyrics will not be allowed. Contestants who during their performance, use any obscene, offensive, sexual or otherwise inappropriate behavior or gestures, including without limitation those referencing or depicting violence, nudity or explicit activity or which are not in the spirit of the contest or do not meet Merit Music Group standards for any reason, as determined by Merit Music Group will be disqualified from the competition.

17. Contestants and their families are not allowed to have contact with any contest judge before or during the competition. Contact includes verbal conversations and handshakes. Please don’t hang out in back of or around the judge’s area.

18. Contestants, and/or their family or associates who exhibit offensive behavior during any portion of the contest may result in the disqualification of that contestant from further competition. Offensive behavior includes poor sportsmanship, bad manners, and lack of decorum.


  1. Contestants will be scored using a 50-point system:

    • * Vocal Ability (rhythm/pitch/phrasing): 1-30 points

    • * Stage Presence (movement/confidence/command): 1-10 points

    • * Appearance (costume/attire): 1-10 points

  2. All decisions and interpretations regarding the contest, its rules, and the selection of the winner remain with the judges, Merit Music Group, its agents, and representatives, and are final.

19. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a One year Artist Development Deal with the potential of being signed to Verb Records, a division of Merit Music Group, LLC.  During the course of this year, artist would record and release one original song with Verb Records staff.  Artist will record at Tornado House Studios in Huntington, WV and receive production, mixing, and mastering from T.K. King.

20. The Runner Up will receive a $500 Sweetwater gift card.

21. The odds of winning will depend on the number of contestants and the quality of their performances.

22. The winner will be selected, and then announced at the end of the competition on October 14th, 2017 after the scores have been calculated.