Finalists ready for this year’s Odessa’s Got Talent

Next week, community members will gather to showcase their talents and compete for up to $9,000 worth of prizes in this year’s edition of Odessa’s Got Talent.

The event is a fundraiser for the Permian Basin Mission Center and will take place at 7:30 p.m. June 17 at the Ector Theatre.

Tickets can be purchased online at

Sixteen contestants will perform on stage with a chance to dazzle audience members.

The finalists were chosen from a panel of judges after submitting their video auditions last month.

“We’re really excited for the growth this year,” fundraising chair and board member of the Permian Basin Mission Center Cristy Batte said. “We think that Ector Theatre is going to be a great experience for our contestants as well as our audience members.”

The event is in its third year and the last two shows took place at First Baptist Church.

“Both are great venues,” Batte said. “This provides us with a more intimate experience with the contestants. The production value is going to be really excellent and we think the finalists are excited to be there.”

The venue may be different this year but Batte is still excited for this year’s show.

“Well, the thing that’s going to be the same is that the talent is going to be extraordinary,” Batte said. “We’re really excited about it. But the differences are just a little bit in production value. Hopefully, we’ll have some great lighting and some neat setups.”

Los Crazy Guys react to being named the third place adult division winner for their performance in the Odessa’s Got Talent fundraiser benefitting the Permian Basin Mission Center Friday night, April 29, 2022, at First Baptist Church. (Odessa American/Eli Hartman)

Just like the last two years, the 16 finalists have been split up into a youth and adult category.

The finalists, which range from individual singers to bands to a hula-hoop skit, will not only compete for a share of $9,000 in cash prizes but also for the People’s Choice Award in which fans can vote online at

“We do have a nice mix,” Batte said. “We have a few who have done it before and we’re excited to have them back. We have a wide variety of young kids that are talented. We have some bands. We have guitarists. It’s going to be a great show.”

This year’s finalists in the adult division are Ashley Jenkins, Chet Johnson, Emilie Bell, Faith Bernabe, Dayla Dos Santos, Never Too Young, Arianna Franco, Kai and Dad Duo, Landry Wells and the Texicans Band.

Finalists in the youth division are: Ally Bee, Austen Contreras, Ballet Folklorico Yolia, Isaac Gonzalez, Mason Simmons and Suit and Tie.

“It is the same number of finalists as previous years,” Batte said. “We had more auditions this year than ever before.”

The first edition of Odessa’s Got Talent took place in the summer while last year’s concert took place in the spring.

This year’s event was moved back to June, making it easier for everyone’s schedule.

“We found that spring is a really busy time of the year for everyone, whether it was for students or adults,” Batte said. “It was just very busy so we feel like this is a better time to have something fun to do downtown. Everyone is still busy but we’ve had a better turnout in the summer.”

This year’s Odessa’s Got Talent will also take place on a Saturday for the first time.

“That’s one of the benefits of moving it to the Ector Theatre,” Batte said. “First Baptist has been very good but we were limited with having our event on a Friday night. We’re excited to get to move to a Saturday night occasion.”

Grace Surmion reacts to being named the first place adult division winner for her performance in the Odessa’s Got Talent fundraiser benefitting the Permian Basin Mission Center Friday night, April 29, 2022, at First Baptist Church. (Odessa American/Eli Hartman)

Some of the finalists are newcomers while others have competed in previous editions of Odessa’s Got Talent.

One of the contestants that’s performing for the third consecutive year is Jenkins who will be doing a hula-hoop routine with two hoops this year.

“I’m actually really excited because this year, I’m trying with the same talent but I took it one step further and learned how to do my two hoop routine,” Jenkins said. “I’m excited. This is the first year that I’ve performed with double hoops. I’m excited to share that with everyone.”

Jenkins is excited for a chance to perform once again.

“I always love supporting a great cause,” Jenkins said. “The Permian Basin Mission Center, I love what they stand for. There aren’t many places where you can go and dance with a hula hoop. I just wanted to share my passion with the people of Odessa and Midland and support a good cause.”

While Jenkins is a third-year finalist, she’s aiming to come away with the top prize this year.

“I would love to be super hopeful but I’m also very humble,” Jenkins said. “I know there’s a lot of great talent that I’m up against.”

Competing for the first time in Odessa’s Got Talent is Faith Bernabe.

She originally was a finalist last year but dropped at the last second since her daughter Grace Surmion was also a finalist.

“I’m very excited because I don’t usually join the competition but this time, I wanted to join because it’s for a good cause,” Bernabe said. “It’s benefiting one of our local organizations. Last year, I was chosen but I didn’t perform. I asked them if they could take me off the list because my daughter performed and I wanted to support her. She was new to Odessa. We got the support from everyone and she won.”

Surmion ended up winning the adult division at last year’s Odessa’s Got Talent with her performance of “Never Enough” from the movie “The Greatest Showman.”

When asked if her daughter’s win from last year gives her added confidence of taking this year’s top prize, Bernabe wouldn’t say.

“I won’t say that,” Bernabe said while laughing. “To be honest, I want to win but I’m just going to go out there and sing from my heart and show the audience what kind of gift I have and have fun.”

Josiah Hall, 11, of Albert Hall and the 100 perform on stage for Odessa’s Got Talent benefitting the Permian Basin Mission Center Friday night, April 29, 2022, at First Baptist Church. (Odessa American/Eli Hartman)

Bernabe said she will be performing an original song that she wrote back when she was 13 called “I Give it All.”

“I decided to save that song because it’s very important and special to me,” Bernabe said. “It’s special that I’ll be singing this song and touching people’s hearts. There’s always hope. If you don’t know what to do, just give it to God. I want to share it with the audience that will be there that night.”

Last year, around $102,000 was raised for the Permian Basin Mission Center from the fundraiser.

“It is a great cause and we appreciate everyone rallying behind us to help feed community members,” Batte said. “We have clients that are in crisis right here in Odessa. It’s really shocking. We fed over 10,000 households. We provided food boxes to that many people. If we can help 10,000 households this year, then we think our money is well worth it. The effort is there every day. We have a staff that works very hard. They work to provide clothing to people who need them. We provide the emergency food boxes. We’re very blessed that we’re able to help provide supplemental needs, regarding rent or utilities.”

If you go: 

  • What: Odessa’s Got Talent.
  • When: 7:30 p.m. June 17.
  • Where: Ector Theatre.
  • Where to purchase tickets: