KALISPELL, Mont. -

The Flathead's most talented singers and songwriters have been at the Kalispell Center Mall the past two weekends, auditioning for the Texaco Country Showdown. The Showdown is essentially country music's American Idol. It's considered one of the largest and longest running country talent searches in the nation.

Country music stars like Garth Brooks, LeAnn Rimes, and Toby Keith have all competed in past Texaco Country Showdowns.

NBC Montana caught up with 12-year-old Dalton Weaver, who's competed in the Showdown since he was 10. Weaver said he's excited to put his singing skills to the test yet again.

"I started in the O'Shaughnessy Center's School House Rock. I love being on stage and it kind of grew from there," said Weaver. "Fingers crossed. Everyone's doing amazing this year so I'm kind of nervous."

Winners of the Kalispell competition move on to state finals held at the Montana State Fair in Great Falls. The best of the best singers eventually compete for the national title in the fall.