7th Annual The Woodlands Idol – Round 1

Posted by Woodlands Traveler on September 10, 2013 in Concerts, Woodlands Events |

Seventh Annual The Woodlands Idol

Preliminary Competitions – Round One

It’s that time of year again, and last Thursday kicked off the seventh annual The Woodlands Idol competition. After all the fun I had last year, and the mind-blowing moments so many of us enjoyed, I was really looking forward to the competition heating up again this year.

And apparently, I’m not the only one. This year’s first round had 20 contestants, up from last year’s first round count. And there were quite a few of them that managed to bring the standing-room only crowd to their feet, dancing, clapping, and cheering them on.

the woodlands idol first preliminary winners for 2013

Not that it started out that way… One of the great things about how The Woodlands Idol works, is that competitors are lined up at random; I don’t know how they do it exactly. A computer program, scraps of paper in a hat – point is, there’s no telling who’s going to sing what and when until the day of the competition. But unfortunately, that’s also kind of a bad thing. Now, now, hear me out. Listen, this is a competition – and the judges are awarding points based not only on the competitors’ vocal ability, but also on their entertainment value. How much fun does it look like they’re having up there? And more importantly, how much fun is the audience having? So when the night got started with not one, not two, but three, slow, melancholy, sad songs – you could almost hear the crickets.

Now, I get it. For some people, maybe singing those soft, slow songs are the best way to showcase their talent. But it’s a rare singer that goes on to become greatly successful with just the slow songs – most everyone has a range. Think of LeAnn Rimes – sure, she’s known for “Blue,” but she can rock “Can’t Fight The Moonlight.” Etta James is famous for “At Last,” but no one can deny her “Something’s Got A Hold On Me” has got a great beat. What I’m trying to say here, is, sometimes it’s best to throw a little caution to the wind and cut loose up there. Get us on our feet. Make us want to sing along. I’d be willing to bet the judges take note.

The first competitor to make it in to semi-finals was Matthew Moore (#1), who sang The Carpenters’ Superstar. He did good with it, and managed the whole song with nary a glance at the prompter.

Three contestants later, just as I was beginning to worry it was really gonna be a slow night, Ty Wellborn (#4) took the stage. Then it happened – once again I was taken completely by surprise. Ty sang “Voices” by Chris Young, appropriately titled, in my opinion, as the voice that came from that guy certainly didn’t match his young-looking face. Ty had a voice that was deep and smoky, reminding me of Scotty McCreery and Blain Larsen – and of course of Chris Young himself.

ty wellborn of Childress performing voices at the 7th annual woodlands idol preliminary

Which just goes to show that there’s no fix in on this competition (TheWoodlandsEvents.com is a media sponsor of The Woodlands Idol); sadly, the judges passed on Ty, and though I voted for him in the People’s Choice polling over the weekend, he didn’t get enough votes to get in. But hey – no reason you can’t come back and try it again, Ty! There’s two more rounds of preliminaries, and you can enter them all!!

The others that will get to go on to the semi-finals from Round One are: Joseph Cross (#5), who sang the Animals “House of the Rising Sun,” then Jim Tillmans (#6) – who was a preliminary winner at last year’s 6th Annual competition, and the 3rd Place Winner the year before – brought down the house with Tracy Chapman’s “Gimme One Reason.” Shanna Roark (#9) did a fantastic job on Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman,” clearly enjoying every minute of it. Jeremy Charles (#10) made Eric Church’s “Smoke a Little Smoke” sound great, though I thought I detected a little bit of cracking on the higher notes. Samantha LaVern Crow (#11) blew us away with Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet,” hitting all the highs and lows, dancing as she sang and never once checking the prompter that I saw.

Alexandra Jackson (#14) is who managed to snag the People’s Choice votes this week, and I do understand why. She sang Maroon 5’s “Misery,” making it her own by putting some twang on it, if that’s possible. But she did so with no prompter, and had a good stage presence. Zachary Jones (#15) had no trouble impressing the judges or the crowd, he is after all last year’s 2nd Place Winner, and sang Brooks & Dunn’s “Believe” as though he’s one of the duo. Diana Majewski (#17) gets my props for bringing variety to the evening, singing Sarah Vaughn’s “Lullaby of Birdland,” I noticed she had her eyes closed much of the time, clearly needing no prompter. And finally, Malori Elsner (#20) busted out Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man,” she was totally into it, completely comfortable with song, moving and dancing as she sang, and getting most of us to sing along with her.

For pictures of the first preliminary event, check out our Facebook Album. Now, here’s the thing; you can check out the photos, or take my word for it sounding like it’s a lot of fun to be there, or you can come out and be a part of this amazing competition by attending the next two rounds of preliminaries, and getting tickets to the semi-finals and finals coming up. Trust me, being there is sooooo much better. Go. You’ll thank me.

The second preliminary round of The Woodlands Idol is Friday, September 20 at Crabby Daddy, followed by the third preliminary round on Friday, October 4 at Papa’s Ice House. Those two nights are free to attend. The semi-finals on Friday, October 18 at Papa’s Ice House, and finals on Friday, November 1 at Mama J’s BBQ & Grill, are ticketed events. Tickets are only $10 and can be purchased at each of the preliminary events, at all of the Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce free business networking events (see our Event Calendar for dates and locations), at the Chamber offices of course, online and finally, at the door. The sooner you get your tickets, though, the better as space will be limited. For more information about The Woodlands Idol competition, check out our Woodlands Idol page or The Woodlands Idol official site.

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