Final chance to compete leads to second win for Meeks at Search for the Stars

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Relan Meeks performed her original song “Heartbreaker” during Search for the Stars on Sunday at the EA Rawlinson Centre.

In her last year of competition, 18-year-old Relan Meeks took home the singer-songwriter prize at this year’s Search for the Stars show at the EA Rawlinson Centre.

This was Meeks’ second consecutive win for an original song. She also won in last year’s online version.

“It’s an incredible feeling knowing that it’s my last year,” Meeks said. “Winning it is an awesome feeling. I feel so accomplished.”

Meeks gripped the hand of Senior winner Rebecca Strong while judges Allyson Reigh and LJ Tyson announced the winner of the competition.

“Yeah there was some tight grip there,” she said with a laugh.

Her fellow competitors in the category were the alternative rock band Subpar. She said that they were two very different but comparable talents.

“Subpar did really good they were good competition. I felt as though we had an equal chance to win,” Meeks said.

Meeks’ winning song was titled “Heartbreaker” and she drew heavily on her life experiences to write it.

“I basically was in a relationship and it didn’t go as planned,” she explained. “I was feeling a lot of emotion and I didn’t know how to feel that emotion. I decided that writing a song might be a good outlet for me to be able to get out all of these feelings.

“It was super therapeutic for me to write everything down,” she added. “I played some chords and I found an awesome melody and I was like, ‘this is going to be a super good song.’”

It was the end of an era for Meeks, who competed in her seventh and final competition. She said the experience was a meaningful one.

“I am so sad to not be able to do it next year,” she said.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The judges and winners of Search for the Stars posed for a photo after the competition on Sunday at the EA Rawlinson Centre.

Meeks is currently a student at the University of Saskatchewan campus in Prince Albert. She has been singing since she was 7 years old and playing the piano since she was about 10 years old.

The prize for singer-songwriter star was $1,000. “Heartbreaker” gave Meeks her second consecutive win, but it was actually the third song she wrote for the competition.

“People who have a dream or something that they think they can’t do should just do it anyways no matter what anyone says,” she said.

Search for the Stars kicked off Saturday, with the final show happening Sunday afternoon.

Unlike last year, audiences were allowed inside the Rawlinson to view this year’s competition.

Malcolm Jenkins of Canadian Tire was on stage to present the award as event sponsor.

Search for the Stars was split up into several categories, with each taking home prizes. 

Berkley Derenewski took home the Junior Star (ages 8 to 10), Morgan Mihliewicz won the Intermediate Star (ages 11 to 14), Rebecca Strong won the Senior Star (ages 8 to 15), and Rijja Mansoor was the Most Improved Star (any age group).

In addition to performing for judges and the audience, contestants also got to participate in workshops run by the judges.

Judges Reigh and Tyson were at the event in-person and presented awards, whereas Judge Jordy Balicki had to provide feedback and judge over Zoom at home.