The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jul. 2, 2022

Johnson siblings win ‘Ohio Has Talent!’

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Sometimes good things come in pairs. Van Wert High School junior Michaela Johnson first competed in “Ohio Has Talent!” as a solo act at the age of 6, but decided to pair this year with her brother, Dru, a freshman at VWHS who earned an honorable mention last year as a solo act. The combination earned the pop/rap duo the top trophy as the audience’s choice for best act during the 11th edition of the annual talent show/fundraiser.

Michaella and Dru Johnson hold up the trophy the brother-sister duo won as the top act at this year’s “Ohio Has Talent!” competition held at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

It’s been a year of success for Michaella, who was recently selected by producer Stepp Stewart to perform I his “Red, White, and Blue Revue” and also got a callback from “The Voice” television talent show.

Both were excited to win this year, hoisting the trophy above their heads to the cheers of the crowd, which stood to honor the winners, as well as the other contestants.

Finishing second was the Vaughn Sisters, a singing act comprised of 16-year-old triplets Nora, Addy, and Marlee Vaughn from the Fort Recover/St. Henry area who had to compete last because they were playing basketball earlier in the day. Reese Looser, a 13-year-old singer from Perrysburg, took third place.

First-, second-, and third-place winners receive $1,000, $500, and $250, respectively.

Honorable mention went to Isaac and Joscie LeFevre, a brother-sister musical theatre act from Fort Recovery, and Alexis Muhlenkamp, a singer who is currently a junior at Coldwater High School.

A total of 18 acts competed during this year’s edition of “Ohio Has Talent!”, a fundraiser for Community Health Professionals that is held annually at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.

Others competing include The Glamour Girls, a song-and-dance group from the Bachwell Center for Music & Dance in Van Wert; Lainie Jones, a senior at Lincolnview High School; a singing duo comprised of Van Wert resident Tim Kindinger and Elida resident Jody Wade; The Cloggers, a family dance act comprised of Teresa Dunlap and her four daughters: Cherise, Kendra, Kellie, and Lauren; Van Wert guitarist Spencer Pauquette; singer Natalee Patrick of Delphos; mother-daughter singing act Yan and May Coppler of Fostoria; Celina resident Lauren Schroeder, who sang and played guitar and piano; 9-year-old singer Evie Van Vorhis from Bowling Green; Awakened Commotion, a pop a cappella group from Hardin Northern High School; guitarist and singer Bayley Tow, a 2017 Lincolnview graduate; Dancers Elite, a troupe of dancers from Bluffton; and Katelyn Hanes, a freshman singer from Tri-Village High School in New Madison.

Last year’s OHT winner, Gabe Bailey, a talented sophomore from South Adams High School in Berne, Indiana, entertained during intermission and while the ballots were being counted.

Judges this year were Kim Mason, who has organized the annual show each year since its beginning in 2008, a little more than a year after the NPAC was completed; Tricia Profit-Kuhn, and W.W. “Wally” Grimm, husband of CHP founder Donna Grimm and a longtime theatre performer.

Emcee this year was Craig Alix, minister of worship and discipleship at Calvary Evangelical Church in Van Wert who filled in last year as a judge during OHT’s 10th anniversary show.

Main sponsor of this year’s show was Citizens National Bank in Van Wert.

Dru and Michaella Johnson (left) and the Vaughn Sisters perform during the 2018 “Ohio Has Talent!” show on Saturday.

POSTED: 02/26/18 at 9:05 am. FILED UNDER: News