Iowa State Fair







Competition Results


Bill Riley Talent Search - August 14

Bill Riley Talent Search - August 14

August 14, 2021

Three talented Sprout division acts (ages 2-12) and five Senior division acts (ages 13-21) have advanced to the semi-final round in Bill Riley’s 61st annual Iowa State Fair Talent Search. Each act will perform again on Thursday, August 19, Friday, August 20 or Saturday, August 21.

The names, ages, hometowns and routines of the sprouts acts are:
Michael Smith, 10, Waterloo, Vocal Solo

Ava Kloppe, 12, Cumming, Contemporary Dance

Grace Holmbeck, 11, Sibley, Guitar and Vocal

The names, ages, hometowns and routines of the senior acts are:

Mitchell Rueschenberg, 19, Harlan, Drum Solo

Ashlyn Herrig, 16, Jordyn Linn, 15, Mary Clare Matthews, 16, Denison; and Elli Heiden, 15, Schleswig, Acro Quartet

Aleesha Smith, 13, Waterloo, Vocal Solo

Teri Underhill, 21, Norwalk, Hula Dancing

Lily Gast, 21, Cedar Falls, 21, Vocal Solo

The Bill Riley Talent Search has put Iowa’s young talent on stages across the state each summer since 1960. Nearly 100 local qualifying competitions are held across the state and winners advance to the State Fair competition, where there are seven days of preliminary competition for Sprouts (ages 2-12) and Seniors (ages 13-21), followed by the semi-finals and, ultimately, the selection of one Senior Champion. The Sprouts do not compete beyond the semi-finals, but perform in the Championship Show as Sprout Champions set for Sunday, August 22 at 1:30 p.m. on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage sponsored by Pepsi and media sponsor iHeart Radio.

More than $20,000 will be awarded to the Senior and Sprout divisions combined. The Bill Riley Talent Search is presented by Hy-Vee.