The biggest Country Music talent search in the Northeast returns to Vapor at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Thursday, February 21, 2013.

Every month aspiring singers get the chance to get on the big stage to sing their way to $5,000 with WGNA's Country Idol. This month's panel of  rotating guest judges will feature Georgia Jones from The New York Players, one of the Northeast's most popular party bands. Rising star Chelsea Cavanaugh is a first time judge, a regional favorite who has opened for some of the biggest names in Country Music. Rounding out this month's special guests is a lady that has had a front row seat to the biggest names in Country Music, Doree Phillips.

Cavanaugh has had the chance to open for several major acts that have played the Albany area, the young rising star told us what she is looking for in a $5,000 winner, "A Country Idol is someone who is 100% passionate about what they do and stands by their values and beliefs. They're someone who is making music for all of the right reasons and goes out and makes the best connections they can with their fans." As an experienced performer we asked her to share some advice to our contestants to prepare for the big night, "The best advice I could give someone is to pick a song that is completely you. Don't be afraid to put your own twist on the song and completely sing it from your heart. If the song is a song you can really relate to then that will show in your performance."

Doree Phillips, who is also a first time judge, could easily be compared to our very own Sharon Osbourne (a well respected lady married to a crazy entertainer, WGNA's Richie Phillips, minus the drugs and bats). For the last 27 years, Phillips has had the best seat in the house watching and meeting some of the biggest names in Country Music with her award winning husband Richie Phillips.

Courtesy of Shelley Miller