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American Idol (tv program)
Youngest competitor takes home biggest prize
Youngest competitor takes home biggest prize

Ava Gilreath's parents were surprised when their 11-year-old daughter beat out the much older high school kids Oct. 12 to take home first prize in this year's Hear My Voice Teen Idol competition. Her mom, Staci Gilreath, teared-up when the show's host, Miss Teen Maryland Mariela Pepin, announced her daughter's name. "We just feel blessed and elated," Staci Gilreath said. Ava was excited as she held her $300 award in hand after the show at the Columbia downtown waterfront ,where the event was held. She said she is either going to put that money toward her college fund or give it to charity. She may have been one of the youngest performers, but she is...

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