Chicago, IL —
Windy City Gay Idol completed its tenth season on June 16, at Sidetrack
, 3349 N Halsted with over three hours of entertainment and an exciting final round.
Twelve finalists were whittled down to the grand prize winner Robert Hughes from Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood. Rob Gellman was first runner up and Megyn Kleemann was second runner up.
"I'm a newbie to Chicago and I'm soaking it all up, been here 2 months and it just gets better and better," Hughes told ChicagoPride.com before the semi-finals earlier this month.
Belting out "Heard It Through the Grapevine," Hughes won $1,000 cash, a trip to Vancouver, Canada and tickets to various shows.
The competition was fierce after three months of tryouts at venues all over Chicago. This year's contestants represented a variety of Chicago neighborhoods, from Edgewater to Pilsen, Portage Park to Chicago Lawn.
Sofia Saffire hosted the event and the three judges providing feedback were movie critic Richard Knight Jr, singer Meghan Murphy and entertainment writer Jerry Nunn
. Guest performers were the Chicago Cabaret Project, Frenchie Kiss and May Oui, along with 2011's Windy City Gay Idol TJ Chernick.
The highly anticipated annual presented by Windy City Media Group
has helped launch performing careers for both its winners and its finalists. Plans are already in the works to start again next year with a brand new season.