In the spirit of American Idol and The Voice, Zachary held its own singing competition April 25 called Z-Star, which organizers hope will become an annual event in the days leading up to the Zachary Arts and Music Festival.

ZFest began Wednesday and runs through May 3 at BREC’s Zachary Community Park.

The Z-Star sing-off was held during another pre-festival event, the Miss Zachary pageant, at the Visual and Performing Arts Center on Zachary High’s campus. Both events were sponsored by the Zachary Chamber of Commerce.

Open to males and females ages 11 to 23, about 10 contestants registered to perform initially, but heavy rains Saturday likely caused some to cancel, organizer Rhonda Gerald said.

As a result, five contestants — all females — took to the stage hoping to win the top prize and a chance to sing at ZFest.

Performers sang one song each and were judged on singing ability, difficulty of song, overall appearance, stage presence and crowd response.

Earning the most points were: Michelle Willis, first place; Bethany Godbold, second place; and Morgan King, third place.

Willis won $100 and a pair of sunglasses donated by Williamson Allemond Eye Center, and Godbold won a $25 gift certificate.

All three girls will sing on ZFest’s main stage beginning at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, opening up for the Safer Street Band at 4 p.m.