7th Annual The Woodlands Idol – Round 3

Posted by Woodlands Traveler on October 7, 2013 in Concerts, Woodlands Events |

Seventh Annual The Woodlands Idol

Preliminary Competitions – Round Three

This past Friday night was the third and final preliminary of the seventh annual The Woodlands Idol competition. Once again we had a full roster of contestants – not only were there 30 of them, but 21 had signed up online before the event night!

Having the event at Papa’s Ice House on Pruitt Road allows for a great size crowd, which is a good thing as it tends to kind of force the competitors to bring a little more showmanship to the stage. And that they did. This week we had everything from Bach to Katy Perry, Frank Sinatra to 3 Doors Down, and even a Van Morrison tune. The country tune ratio was down to 8 out of 30, too! ;-D

the woodlands idol third preliminary winners for 2013

I noticed the crowd really seemed to be more energetic and really enjoying the show; and that’s always a good thing. Like any musical performance, it’s always better if there’s a real energy in the room.

I, for one, enjoyed having more than one “goose-bump” inducing performance – and in fact, there were several that brought out a full-blown, foot-stomping, shouting and whistling, standing ovation of an audition. Those are always the best.

For the third round, the first competitor to be chosen by the judges was Simply Dion (#3), who really reminded me of Robert Bell – the 3rd Annual Woodlands Idol Winner. He smoothly belted out Luther Vandross’ (well, Heatwave’s) “Always and Forever.”

The next contestant to make it through was Lindsay Allen (#10). Lindsay competed two weeks ago at the second preliminary. This week, she sang Bach’s classic, “Ave Maria.” Clearly in her element, she did not miss a single note, never stumbled through the Latin lyrics, and even if Bach is no one’s definition of “Ice House” type music – no one there could deny she did a beautiful job.

Immediately following her was Melissa Sterling (#11); her strong performance of Katy Perry’s “Thinking of You” was almost over-powered by the fantastic shade of red in her hair!

bryan kennedy performing desperado at the 7th annual woodlands idol preliminary

Note: I say that not only tongue-in-cheek, but also in true admiration of her confidence to not only rock a hot pink/red hair color, but also be one of those who seemingly is totally at ease with being on stage in front of so many people and performing. You go, girl!

But just before those two fantastic performances was the man I would have loved to have seen make it in, Bryan Kennedy (#9). As soon as he started singing, I knew I recognized that smooth crooning opening. Unfortunately, I think his choice for this year (Clint Black’s “Desperado”) wasn’t as strong as last year’s “Georgia On My Mind.” Shucks.

Our next Judge’s Pick was another second-time’s-the-charm competitor, Rex Johnson (#12), who also auditioned in Round 2. Rex has one of those voices that you can just imagine hearing at any up-scale, old-school piano bar. He did a great job on Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” so great, in fact, he got at least half the crowd up on their feet for a standing ovation with his powerful ending. We happened to have the opportunity to speak with Kyle Hutton, one of the Judges, at The Chambers’ Business After Hours event this evening, and he said something I think so many of us noticed about Rex last Friday. When he takes that stage, with that microphone in hand, he just absolutely lights up. It’s fantastic to watch.

With yet another amazing performance for the evening was Terri Blake (#15), who got up on that stage and took ownership of Etta James’ “At Last.” And I’m telling you, she held the last note of that song for-ev-er! Louie Cruze (#17) had some of us guessing, because before he began his performance he addressed the crowd for about a minute. And as a (seemingly) native Spanish-speaker, he was speaking very quickly and with a pronounced accent. But when he sang Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” he was clear, had excellent timing, and everyone enjoyed hearing him.

Kathryn Rodriguez (#20) gave what was easily the most animated performance of the entire contest so far. As she sang Journey’s “Separate Ways,” (and did a great job doing it) she danced from one end of the stage to the other, and back to front. And during the bridge, threw in some air guitar, air keyboard and dance moves with her invisible bassist. The eighth judge’s pick was Sarah Brindley (#22), who did well with “Heart of Dixie” by Danielle Bradbury. Though she remained rather stationary on stage, she had a good, strong voice. The final Judges’ pick for the evening was Mary Goldknopf (#30), who did a great job with Evanescence’s “My Immortal.” Though she started a wee bit softly, she gamely tackled the full range of notes from low to high, and was very much at ease with the song. And finally, this week’s People’s Choice winner was Ashley Conlon (#8), who adequately covered Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” during the first segment of the night. I think her performance was a little drowned out, though, by crowd noise and the music levels.

So next week is the Semi-finals. All 30 of these local singers will go head-to-head to become one of the lucky 10 “best of the best,” and a shot at becoming this years’ Woodlands Idol. We wish them all the best of luck, and don’t envy the judges at all when it comes to having to narrow that field down. I can only imagine the difficulty when it comes to the finals! Don’t miss the semi-finals on Friday, October 18 at Papa’s Ice House, and finals on Friday, November 1 at Mama J’s BBQ & Grill, and remember, they 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 pictures of the third preliminary event, check out our Facebook Album. Remember to come out and be a part of this amazing competition by attending the final rounds of preliminaries, and getting tickets to the semi-finals and finals coming up. Trust me, being there is a blast – even when the music is slow! ;-D

For more information about The Woodlands Idol competition, check out our Woodlands Idol page or The Woodlands Idol official site.

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