Rutland's Got Talent

Lucy Gallo's hula hoop performance at  ‘Really Big Show’ 2015.

Rutland’s longest running talent show is getting a makeover.

“Rutland’s Got Talent,” hosted by the United Way of Rutland County, is the latest fundraiser in line with local successes like “Dancing with the Rutland Stars” and “Real Rutland Feud.” What began 22 years ago as “The Really Big Show” is being super-sized.

“We revamped it to put a fresh twist on it and encourage more types of talent,” said United Way Associate Director Jona Farwell. “We modeled it after the TV show “America’s Got Talent,” and are using four live interactive judges who will give feedback after each performance, which (we haven’t) done before.”

Up until earlier this week, potential contestants could audition by video, another new feature of the program, by recording their audition, posting it on YouTube and submitting the link. But live auditions are being held 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the College of St. Joseph’s Tuttle Hall.

Do you know the song “Handlebars,” by Flobots? I didn’t, but I do now after 25-year-old Jordan McClure, of Rutland, did his own rendition of the song in his YouTube video submission, and he’s really pretty good.

He’s now in the running as a potential contestant in the highly anticipated talent show, which takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at Rutland’s Paramount Theatre.

The competition is open to ages 8 and older, to compete for a cash prize and a trophy in each category. Acts can be up to about three-and-a-half minutes long, and range from standup comedy to singing to animal acts, or whatever you’ve got. Farwell said they’re hoping to get new kinds of acts with the rebirth of the fundraiser.

“We have a ukulele group, which we’ve never had before,” Farwell said, as well as some dance acts and singers.

The show will also include some exhibition acts by local professionals, another new feature, which will not be judged but presented purely for entertainment. The live celebrity judges for the show were still being narrowed down as of early this week, but Farwell mentioned two already chosen, which will be familiar faces to the audience.

Applications are available on the United Way website, and tickets are already on sale through the Paramount Box Office or For more information, audition forms, rules and more, please visit

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