Nanaimo teen wins PNE Star Showdown

He has performed on the same stage that launched the careers of Michael Buble and Carly Rae Jepsen.

16-year-old Jayden Holman of Nanaimo is this year’s winner of the PNE Star Showdown completion.

Holman performed Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” to an enthusiastic crowd.

Along with Van Morrison, his influences include John Mayer and James Taylor. Holman plays the bass, guitar and keys and also writes his own songs.

“I feed off the audience. The way I feel about music is how I like to make other people feel too,” he says.

“My goal is to do this for a living and not have to wake up in the morning and drive a truck.”

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Holman was competing against eight other finalists selected from over 400 YouTube entries into the competition.

He was clearly overjoyed at winning the competition, and says taking first place is a big boost to his confidence.

“Today is just another part of my journey and I won’t give up no matter what happens.”

Holman takes home the $5,000 grand prize. Second place went to Jerrica Santos, who performed “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele. Third place went to Leila Neverland.

Participants are judged on a percentage based system, as follows: 20 per cent natural ability, 20 per cent stage presence, 20 per cent audience appeal and 40 per cent quality of performance. Participants ranged from 9 to 35 years old.