I was like a cat with nine lives once again when I began competing in the Smith Mountain Lake Idol 6 at Heath’s Waterfront Grill last Friday.

I took on Sugarland’s “Settlin’” in week one of the six-week competition in Huddleston and garnered average scores from the three judges.

Honestly, I felt pretty good about it.

But, the talent of the 21 contestants was phenomenal, and I once again found myself in the bottom two and on the verge of going home.

Luckily, the people’s choice vote saved me once again.

If you recall, I competed in SML Idol 5 in the fall, and on week two, I stumbled through Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” forgetting some of the words and was eliminated, but found out the next day I had won over the audience and was voted back in with their votes.

On Saturday, I received that coveted email once again saying, “Congratulations, you were voted back into the competition.”

This Friday I will be back in Huddleston once again singing, “Leave the Pieces” by The Wreckers with a friend of mine playing guitar.

Hopefully, I’ll find myself with high enough scores to make it to week three.

The competition will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, and there is a $5 cover charge.

Also this year, SML Idol also serves as a fundraiser for various organizations.

On Friday, over $500 was raised for SML Good Neighbor with money raised from a 50/50 raffle and the People Choice votes which cost $1 a piece.

This week, proceeds will go toward Lake Christian Ministries.

The following weeks’ proceeds will go toward Food for Kids Program, Saunders Volunteer Fire Department, Bedford Humane Society and Disabled American Veterans.

Follow the competition on Facebook at SML Idol.

Ashley Hodge reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at

Ashley Hodge is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at