APOLLO Bay musician Dylan Johnson has impressed a panel of celebrity judges to win an inaugural talent quest.
Apollo Bay Returned and Services League talent quest judges Up There Cazaly singer Mike Brady, G’day G’day singer Rob Fairbairn and Patrick Evans of Maton guitars awarded the top prize to the 19-year-old after his vocal and guitar performance.
Johnson beat 11 other finalists – from an overall field of 20 competitors – to win the $1000 prize with his rendition of John Butler Trio’s Ocean.
“He was phenomenal, he just came out of the box with it in the finals,” competition organiser Louey Hesterman said.
“He beat some stiff competition,” he said.
Mr Hesterman said Apollo Bay’s Oscar Lalor was the runner-up and duo Cath and Mez came third.
“Close your eyes and you can hear Eric Clapton,” he said of Oscar Lalor.
Colac singer-guitarist Lewis Oborne, 15, won an encouragement award after “stunning” the judges.
Mr Hesterman said the competition attracted entries from people aged between 12 and 60, mainly from singers, as well as a crowd of about 300 people.
“All the groups were really good, even the ones that didn’t make it to the finals,” he said.
“One was a spectacular dance routine – they dressed up in spectacular costumes and they went in for a lark to support the club.
“It was an absolutely buzzing event, all the volunteers were so enthusiastic.
“It’s sort of brought the community together. it was a pleasure to be there.”
Mr Hesterman said organisers might‘ decide to turn the talent quest into a yearly event.