Third-grader Kaylee Akers accepts the Grand Champion trophy from Mike Scott at Saturday night’s Culpeper Has Talent competition. At back is talent competition host Frank Wells.

A local third grader out-shined and surpassed 19 older and more experienced contestants to win Culpeper Has Talent V Saturday night.

Eight-year-old Kaylee Akers of Culpeper earned the title of Grand Champion at the local talent competition held in the hall at Salem Volunteer Fire Department. She was the youngest of 20 finalists to perform at the popular show created by music producer Gordon Humphrey.

Akers, a student at Pearl Sample Elementary School, wowed the crowd and judges with her sweet vocals, performing a medley of “Church Bells” by Beyonce, “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo and Barbra Streisand’s “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”

The youngster also choreographed her own dance moves.

“She was literally everything on the stage that night,” Humphrey said. “I tell performers all the time: You don’t have to be the best singer or the best dressed or whatever. You just have to give the crowd a performance they will remember—and Kaylee absolutely did that. It gives me goosebumps thinking about it. She is everything a Grand Champion should be.”

Read more about what inspires Akers in an upcoming edition of the Star-Exponent and online at starexponent.com.

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