CONWAY, AR - Hundreds of entries from throughout the world whittled down to ten. Ten lucky and talented finalists in the first ever Alchemy Songwriting Competition.
"I wanted to hear more," said judge Andy Davis after one entry performed live on Saturday night. "I wanted to see where the song was going."
"It's kind of nerve wracking," said American Idol Season 8 winner and Conway native Kris Allen. "People sitting there, judging you, I've been there."
Of course when Kris Allen went through it, his judges numbered in the millions and included Simon Cowell.
"I remember when I first started writing songs they were terrible," he said.
Now, he's on the other side. Sitting at the judges table, himself.
"It's Kris Allen, it's David Hodges, it's Andy Davis," said writer and competitor Adam Hambrick. "These guys who are very experienced and have a lot of clout."
"These people are just doing it because they love it," said Allen. "I don't know if I have seen that around this area before."
After years of writing and entering other competitions, Hambrick walks away with a win and at least three judges who want to hear the song again, and again.
"If you've got great songs, they're going to get heard," said Hambrick.
Hambrick walked away with a trip to Los Angeles to record his winning song, "I Would Never" in a studio with two major producers to give him a chance at making it a hit.
Of the ten finalists, six were from Arkansas. The other four came from New York, Ontario, Virginia with the furthest entry coming all the way from Malta to participate in the competition.