Written by Al Stover
By Al Stover
For North Dakota resident Brian Salveson, the 10th time was the charm.
Salveson competed against eight other contestants to place first in the 13th annual KVCK Texaco Country Showdown, which was held in the Wolf Point High School auditorium, July 10. This was his 10th year of entering the competition, but his first time winning.
Besides Salveson, there were other performers who returned for this year’s competition, including Naveah Yellow Robe, who sang May Day Parade’s Terrible Things and Taylor Swift’s We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together and Allison Linseth, who sang Thompson Square’s If I Didn’t Have You and Dixie Chicks’ Not Ready To Make Nice.
Linseth is not only Salveson’s daughter, but also she has competed for in the showdown eight times.
“It seems like a long time, but we have so much fun when we do it,” Linseth said.
Linseth also said it was good to see her father win the competition.
“[He was] consistently trying. It’s nice to see it pay off for him,” Linseth said.
In addition to the returning performers, there were also several first-time contestants including third-place winner Justiss Firemoon, who sang LeAnn Rimes’ Unchained Melody and Martina McBride’s Broken Wing and second-place winner Randy Stensland, who performed Gary Allen’s It Would Be You and Jake Owen’s 8 Second Ride.
In between performances, Carol Kelly, KVCK on-air personality and producer of the event, thanked the businesses, who sponsored the showdown, and Pippin DJ and Karaokee, who provided the music. She also gave away T-shirts, as well as entertained the crowd with cowboy jokes, tips for redneck etiquette and things not to say to police officers.
Kelly said she thought the event had great talent, a nice crowd and “nice variety of ages.” She also said that had gotten to know Salveson well over the years he has been competing and that he had placed in the showdown before, but had never won.
Besides the other contestants who sang hits from well-known artists, one contestant named Al Bets His Medicine, who played on the keyboard in addition to singing vocals, performed Moovin & Groovin and All I’ll Ever Need, which he wrote himself.
As the judges tallied their scores, all of the contestants came to the stage to sing along with the audience. Despite no music, the contestants sang Toby Keith’s Shoulda Been a Cowboy and George Strait’s All My Exs Live in Texas.
Moments before the winner was announced, Salveson ended the finale by singing George Strait’s Nobody in His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her.
For Salveson, winning the showdown was a humbling experience.
“I used to say ‘I was a bridesmaid, never a bride,’” Salveson said. “It really hasn’t sunk in yet. This is the first time I will be going on from local competition.”
Salveson will advance to the state competition at the Montana State Fair in Great Falls Aug. 2-3. According to Kelly, Salveson is also allowed to return to next year’s showdown.
Contestants And Songs
Navaeh Yellow Robe
May Day Parade‘s Terrible Things
Taylor Swift’s We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together
Garth Brooks’ Beaches of Cheyenne
Tracy Lawrence’s Time Marches On
Thompson Square’s If I Didn’t Have You
Dixie Chicks’ Not Ready To Make Nice
Al Bets His Medicine
Movin & Groovin (original music)
All I’ll Ever Need (original music)
Taylor Swift‘s Our Song
Carrie Underwood’s Temporary Home
Gary Allen’s It Would Be You
Jake Owen’s 8 Second Ride
LeAnn Rimes Unchained Melody
Martina McBride’s Broken Wing
Christina Peri’s Arms
Taylor Swift’s Sparks Fly
Garth Brooks’ Much Too Young To Feel This Damn Old
George Strait’s Unwound