Hebert, Whalen top ‘Quests’

Crystal Green
Fort Frances Times

Another successful “Quest for the Best” saw Sarah Hebert crowned the winner, with Jessica Whalen capturing the “Kiddie Quest” title, last night.

The event—staged annually by the local Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship—is always popular, with another sell-out crowd on hand under the big tent at the Sorting Gap Marina again this year.

Sixteen contestants took part in “Quest,” with one of those being a duet, while 10 girls took part in the second-annual “Kiddie Quest,” which was open to those 13 and under.

Hebert, a past “Quest” winner, said earning the $500 top prize this year felt really great.

“It is great because all of Fort Frances comes out to support you,” she remarked, also adding she couldn’t do it without her number-one fan—her boyfriend.

Hebert wowed the crowd and the judges with her rendition of “Alone” by Heart, sending the song out to all those people who love the ’80s.

She said winning this year was really special for her. “This one means a lot since I don’t know if I’ll be coming back,” she noted.

Hebert will be finishing university this year, then hopes to end up in Nashville to work in musical theatre or the country music business.

Hebert said she enjoys competing at “Quest” year after year because everyone comes out just to have a good time, adding it doesn’t even feel like a competition.

Brittany Hayes was the runner-up, pocketing the $300 prize for her rendition of “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin.

She also won the People’s Choice award for the first set (a $100 prize).

Taking home the third-place prize of $200 was Ed Calder Jr., who sang the Johnny Cash hit “Folsom Prison Blues.”

Calder—a crowd favourite—also received the Audience Response award, the Contestants’ Choice award, and the second People’s Choice award—each worth $100.

Ken Kellar took home the final prize of $100 for most original performance. He played the guitar while singing “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls.

Whalen, meanwhile, earned the “Kiddie Quest” crown—and $150—for singing “California Girls” by Gretchen Wilson.

Coming in second, worth $100, was Ericka Tymkin, singing “Someone’s Watching Over Me” by Hillary Duff. Tymkin also received $75 for the People’s Choice award.

The third-place prize of $75 went to Jennifer Harris for singing “Whenever, Wherever” by Shakira.

All of the contestants in “Kiddie Quest” also received a $10 gift certificate from Sears.