Bennington County, you will be the deciders on who gets $1,000.

It’s up to you to vote for the most talented performer in the fourth Bennington’s Got Talent contest, hosted by the Bennington Banner and Manchester Journal.

No surprise, but this year’s contest has gone virtual because of the pandemic. The 2021 contest is generously sponsored by Coggins Ford, Honda & Toyota, and Casella Waste Management, CAT-TV and the Park McCullough House. Contestants had a three-week window to submit a video of their performance.“We used to do it as a live event in one night, where everyone performed. This is a fun and different way to highlight the most talented performers among us,” says Susan Plaisance, advertising manager for the Journal and Banner.

Judges Christopher Oldham, Park-McCullough House executive director; Greg Van Houten, owner of GVH Design and also a musician; Erica Floriani, Bennington Chamber of Commerce member manager; and Alexina Jones, director of advancement at the Bennington Museum, whittled the contestants down to 21 finalist performers.

Starting April 16, the first batch of finalist videos will be aired live at 6:30 p.m. on CAT-TV channel 1095 and live on the Banner, Journal and CAT-TV Facebook pages. Voting will open immediately after the live broadcast and will close at noon on the following Monday. The winner of each group will move onto the finale and will be announced in the Banner and Journal. Subsequent groups of finalists will air the next three Fridays at the same time.

At the finale event, we will feature the four winners from each weekly airing; it’ll take place at the Park-McCullough House on May 23 at 6:30. The winner will go home with $1,000. Last year, three-time Got Talent competitor Timothy Wade, of Poultney, won $1,000 and a one-day session at Old Mill Road Recording, a studio in East Arlington.