At the risk of pissing off some of the industry guys, I would like to share this for all the up and coming artists out there. Success in the music industry does not come from American idol, X-Factor, the voice or any other contest, especially local contests like The Break. Any contest that requires you to pay an entry fee, then makes ticket sales/attendance a very large percentage of your score to move forward into the next round, has nothing to do with talent, and says nothing about your overall and future talent and ability. They are, exactly, a money making venture for the promoter/contest owner. If they weren't, they would not have the contest every year, period. No promoter or concert organizer can afford, nor wants to, lose money before the main event even starts. Do the math. You pay your entry fee. Ka-ching. You sell tickets to round one. Ka-ching. People buy food and drink at round one. Ka-ching. You advance. You sell tickets, and start promoting the contest and the concert you are trying to win entry to. Ka-ching. You sell more tickets then before, do a decent performance, move on. You promote even heavier, do more social media, etc, and sell more tickets now at a higher price. Ka-ching. People still buy food and beverage. Hell, some even have to pay parking. Ka-ching. And the list goes on. So, if you manage to make the finals, you feel like you won. However, you paid $15-$20 just to try and be in it (non-refundable if they disqualify you for some reason), sold at least $1000 worth of tickets (and you got nothing), your family and friends spent money in the venue (a percentage of which goes to the promoter) and you did thousands of dollars worth of social media and other advertising both indirectly and directly for the promoter. And, you signed away, without compensation, for them to use your picture and likeness in promotions and other advertising, you gave them rights to use your music on their products, and in one local case, authorization to have your music on a different commercial venture the promoter owns. All with no compensation. If you have talent, think about how much further you would be if you spent that much time just working for yourself, doing all that on your own for you! You would probably be one of the acts that the promoter approaches and wants to perform at the festival, and will pay you. I have 35 years in this biz, as a touring musician, studio musician, band manager, promoter and also A&R. There will be some who want to argue my points, but they will be the ones who will not make any money after someone reads this post. Just to give you some idea, think about this. How many people remember who finished third on American Idol the year that Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard were the finalists? How many winners of Ed McMahon's Star Search went on to huge careers? How many of the all-time greatest music artists won a contest and that got them their fame? 'Nuff said. I am always here if you need me.