Bellaire Native Advances In TV Talent Competition

WHEELING – Bellaire native Katie Orlofske is one step closer to winning $1 million after appearing on a special preview of reality show “The Winner Is” on Monday.

The series will officially premiere at 9 p.m. on Thursdays beginning July 11.

Orlofske, 22, who started singing across the Ohio Valley when she was a teen, stuck to her country roots Monday. She won her initial round of competition against a Las Vegas showgirl with a rendition of “Independence Day.”

Both Orlofske and her competitor passed on the opportunity to walk away with $10,000 following their performances, but Orlofske prevailed and advanced with a vote of 96-5 by a panel of 101 judges in the audience.

Orlofske then competed in a final round Monday, facing off against a duo known as the Kalama Brothers. Turning to country music once again, Orlofske sang “Breathe.” Once it was revealed that the judges preferred one act 91-10, the brothers decided to accept a $50,000 offer to leave the contest.

That was a good choice, as Orlofske again proved to be the judges’ choice.

Orlofske, who graduated with a nursing degree from Belmont College, moved to Los Angeles for a couple of years, then relocated to Nashville in February to continue pursuing her singing career. As a contestant on “The Winner Is,” she ultimately will have the chance to sing six songs for the chance to win $1 million.

The show is hosted by Nick Lachey. Each episode consists of three rounds. In the first round, the contestants are offered $10,000 to leave the game, $25,000 in round two and $50,000 in round three.

“Resisting these offers and winning over the audience is the only way to win a spot in the finale, where the offers rise dramatically and lead two lucky acts to a final showdown worth $1,000,000,” according to the show’s website. “After each head-to-head matchup, a jury of 101 music lovers vote live on who they feel gave the better performance in the duel.

“The contestants only have a short amount of time to decide whether to take the cash or risk it all to stay in the game and be one step closer to the $1 million grand prize.”

Orlofske has performed at Jamboree In The Hills, River City Ale Works and other venues in the area. She recorded her first CD at the age of 12 and in 2007 was the West Virginia state winner of the Colgate Country Showdown.