Heartland Idol competition kicks off
CHRISTY SWIFTSEBRING - The Heartland Idol intro music was blasting through the air at 6 p.m. on a Thursday night again, but this time at a different venue.
Published: February 9, 2013
Published: February 9, 2013
The YMCA basketball courts hosted 11 junior and nine teen singers, all vying for a slot in the semifinals on Feb. 21st.
There was no shortage of talent, nor was there a shortage of audience members with an estimated crowd of 250.
The six juniors who came out on top were Kalie Christian, Ashdon Dane Dennison, Moriah Finney, Hailey McDonough, Abigail Smith and Shelby Stoner. The teen qualifiers were Olivia Hitt, Alex Hornick, Cammie Lester, Nala Price and Sareena Stoner.
Highlights from the junior competition included 7-year-old Ashdon Dane Dennison, who was dressed as "Little Orphan Ashdon" as he sang "Tomorrow" from the musical "Annie." The pint-sized performer hit the notes in a high, sweet voice. The crowd loved him, and so did the judges.
"You stayed on key. Your stage presence is something that set the bar," said judge Larry Moore of Moore Performing Arts Studio.
Heartland Idol winner Shannon Reid of the Shannon Reid Band said he would be famous one day.
The kids were ambitious, too. Many chose difficult songs like Patsy Cline's "Crazy" sung by 11-year-old Caitlin Sinness. Second grader Hailey McDonough took on "Love Song" by Adele. It was the first time singing at Heartland Idol for the 7-year-old, who performed the mature song in a hauntingly sweet voice.
Reid described McDonough's range as "shocking" and Moore told the little girl she was destined to be a star.
Five time Heartland Idol performer Kalie Christian added a little something extra to her act by tapping out the beat of "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone" with a plastic cup on a tabletop using dancing hand motions as originally performed in the movie "Pitch Perfect." Christian literally didn't miss a beat.
Moore said it was the perfect song choice for her and co-emcee David Flowers was duly impressed, but judge Jimmy Johnson of The Blue Echos found the intricate hand work distracting.
Also performing that evening were SeAnna Hornick, Shayla Cox, Peyton Anderson, Caitlin Sinness and Lauren Eubanks in the Junior competition and Savannah Connolly, Sydni Hornick, Jennifer Moore and Shaylin Alley in the Teen competition. These youngsters and others will have a chance to try again next week.
In addition to Moore, Reid and Johnson, judges Michelle Cathy of the YMCA, Cheryl Sharp of Agero, and 2012 teen Idol champ Asia Grace Gilroy gave both positive and constructive feedback.
Next week a second junior and teen qualifier will be held on Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. in the same location. There will be a Valentine's theme with musical guest group Scarlet Fade performing song requests for $5. Poems and cards can also be shared.
Some recent changes have been made to the Idol schedule, with the Teen Finale being moved to March 7 instead of Feb. 28. Feb. 21 will be the Junior/Teen Semi final. Feb. 28 will be the Junior finale and first adult qualifier round. March 7 will be the Teen finale and second adult qualifier. The dates for Senior Idol are pending, with the most recent schedule available at the Heartland Idol Facebook Page.
To register, download an application from the Facebook page and drop it off at the Law Office of Michael Kieber, 129 S. Commerce Ave. or email the form to Diana Walker at email@example.com. Registrations will also be taken before the shows start. The first 20 registrants will perform. The cost is $10 or $5 for a second try.