Richland firefighter Keith Ramsay did not win the $10,000 grand prize when he made his TV debut on AMC's reality series Showville.
He was one of four finalists for the prize, which was won by hip-hop artist Benji Garcia from Milton-Freewater.
Ramsay of Kennewick performed with his ventriloquism dummy Rodney, a larger-than-life white rabbit.
Other finalists were the Bizarre Love Triangle band of Walla Walla and a standup comic from Portland.
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Showville producers travel the country visiting small towns, giving residents a a chance to perform in the spotlight.
The show was taped earlier this year in Walla Walla but the winner was kept secret until the program aired Thursday night.