Ultimate Miami LLC — creator of Miami’s talent competitions showcasing local rising stars in the fields of mixology, entertainment and culinary arts — has announced the winners of the fourth season of the Ultimate Miami series which took place over the last two weekends in June.
Grand prize winners earned a cash prize of $5,000 and the title of Miami’s Ultimate. Each evening was highlighted with a performance by a nationally known entertainer, including Carlos Mencia, TKA, The Cover Girls, George LaMond, Judy Torres, Adore Delano and Courtney Act.
The panel of judges included host of Top Chef Estrellas Ingrid Hoffmann, acclaimed musician Jacob Jeffries, Emmy Award-winning journalist Trina Robinson, radio personalities Manny Munoz and Wil Shriner, and gay rights activist Tony Lima.
The winners (and dates announced) were:
Ultimate Miami Voice – Michelle Sussett (June 19);
Ultimate Miami Drag Queen – TP Lords (June 20);
Ultimate Miami Dessert – Graham Randall (June 26);
Ultimate Miami Bartender – Juan Sosa (June 26), and
Ultimate Miami Comedian – Pam Bruno (June 27).
“The fourth season of Ultimate Miami blew us away! It was moving to see the level of energy and excellence that was exhibited throughout the series,” said Scott Savin, chief operating officer of Magic City Casino. “The competition was fierce, and the talent that was displayed was exceptional. It’s a sincere pleasure to host events that not only celebrate local talent, but also nurture the rich pool of talent which South Florida has to offer.”
Ultimate Miami Voice, Michelle Sussett, is a Venezuelan transplant who recently arrived to South Florida. The vocalist, named after the Beatles’ song Michelle, has been highly influenced by her parents’ rich musical tastes. Sussett believes her competitive edge came from her connection with the audience. This rapport was evident in her soulful rendition of Etta James’ At Last, which she sang during the final round of the night.
TP Lords is the Ultimate Miami Drag Queen. The 37-year-old fulltime drag entertainer performs on South Beach and Fort Lauderdale. As a third-time finalist, Lords credits her win to years of dedication to her craft, her determination and personal style. She used a portion of the $5,000 prize to attend Gay Pride NYC and plans to invest back into her career. Lords’ long-term goals are to travel, entertain and make beautiful music.
Graham Randall, the executive pastry chef at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, created the Ultimate Miami Dessert. His passion for food started at an early age with his father, a life-long butcher, serving as inspiration. His first round dessert, “Chocolate Indulgence,” stood out from the competition and quickly made him an audience favorite, easily catapulting him into the final round. The 45-year-old United Kingdom transplant believes that his 25 years of experience in a professional kitchen, the use of high quality ingredients, an excellent support team and British tenacity ultimately gave him the edge over the field of finalists.
Ultimate Miami Bartender, Juan Sosa, can be found preparing tasty libations at Mango’s Tropical Cafe? in South Beach. This master mixologist believes that his outgoing personality and his ability to concoct a delicious cocktail were the winning combination during the preliminary round. During the final round, his drink “Banana Sunshine” wowed the judges. This 45-yearold Argentine native plans to use his $5,000 cash prize towards the closing costs on the purchase of a new home.
Ultimate Miami Comedian, Pam Bruno, is the first woman to win the Ultimate Miami Comedian title. As a 65- year-old former cranial sacral therapist, Bruno hopes to use the cash reward to invest in her comic career. Current plans for the Pembroke Pines resident include exploring other U.S. comedy scenes, such as New York and Los Angeles, putting together a promo special and working as a full time comedian. The Ohio native credits her win to her laid back vibe with references to family and failed relationships. Her YouTube Web series “Pam Loves This Man” with comic and fellow finalist, Plus Pierre, was nominated for “Best Sketch Comedy” at Miami Web Fest.
Ultimate Miami, LLC was formed to promote, through competition, Miami’s outstanding eclectic composition of talent in various subsets in the fields of mixology, entertainment and culinary arts. The company’s goal is to showcase rising stars that call Miami home and derive the essence of their skills from the experiences of their surroundings.
For more details, visit www.theultimatemiami.com.