6th Annual The Woodlands Idol – Round 3

Posted by Woodlands Traveler on October 10, 2012 in Concerts |

Sixth Annual The Woodlands Idol

Preliminary Competitions – Round Three

The third round of preliminaries for the sixth annual The Woodlands Idol competition was by far the largest of the three, having more competitors than both the first, and second round – and far more stand out performers.

The song selections for the night were all over the board – from as far back as “How Great Thou Art,” the Christian hymn originally penned in 1885 and made famous by numerous of musicians, to as contemporary and recent as Adele’s “Rollin’ In The Deep,” and everything in between. We heard yet another two performances of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” opera, with The Phantom of the Opera’s “Think of Me,”, a whole spectrum of country tunes (of course), classics like Nat King Cole (“Orange Colored Sky”), Etta James (“I’d Rather Go Blind” and “At Last”) and Nina Simone (Feelin’ Good – in a performance that nearly made me cry [and not tears of joy]), even The Eagles (“Hotel California”), Uncle Kracker (“Drift Away”) and Joss Stone (“You Had Me”).

the woodlands idol second preliminary winners for 2013

There were a total of 29 competitors this week, and while things started off pretty good – four contestants in and we had our first preliminary winner of the night, Bridgett Cooper (#09) with a goose-bump-enducing a Capella rendition of the late Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and Niki Uzell (#11) gamely followed immediately after with George Strait’s “Amarillo By Morning”. Cherrie Boston (#12), gave a heartfelt performance of Etta James’ At Last, which would ultimately make her the People’s Choice Winner – and after that there was a long, long… long dry-spell. I can honestly say the bizarre and hodge-podge mixture of the next nine contestants was difficult to sit through. Perhaps if I’d had a few drinks it’d been easier. But I digress. Next up was Aaron Del Bosque (#22), who selected Billy Currington’s “Let Me Down Easy,” and though he seemed to warble a little bit on each verse, made good with a strong performance of each chorus. The second person to perform Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” was Debbie T. (#28), and in my opinion (and the judges’) did a better job than the first.

After Debbie, the performances seemed to build up steam as one right after another would ultimately go on to be preliminary winners. Mary Goldknopf (#29) gave a strong performance of Evanescene’s “My Immortal”, and from there the tempos increased, with Jordan Burmeister (#1) channeled Adele, managing to stray far from the teleprompter and look relaxed and engaged as she belted out “Rollin’ In The Deep”. Syndni Doughtie (#2) was next, with Nat King Cole’s “Orange Colored Sky”, which was both old-fashioned and cute at the same time. There was a tongue-twisting segment about a minute in that didn’t phase her in the least. Zachary Jones (#3), who earlier in the evening appeared to be getting restless, looked like he was having a great time while making every word his own as he smiled, danced and sang Josh Thompson’s “Beer On The Table.”

Once again this week we had a couple of returning contenders; Aaron Del Bosque (#22) was a 2012 Semi-finalist, and in what could be described only as providential, the night was brought to a close by Cale Reneau (#5), a 2011 Preliminary Winner.

As he was the last of the evening, Jackie of Tunes of Texas (the guys providing all the music for the competition) stepped down off the stage and came over to have a seat next to me. We hadn’t actually talked much prior to that point, but he nudged me, gave me a ‘just wait’ll you see this’ knowing smile and said, “get ready.”

‘Get ready for what?’ I wondered. I was tired. The music cued up, and it was a slow and steady beat. I kind of knew I knew it… but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Then Cale started singing and of course, only a few words in and I immediately remembered it was Radiohead’s “Creep.” He was already doing a great job through the first and second chorus, but then –

Then, something magical happened. Two-and-a-half minutes in to what was clearly going to be a full song (versus being cut off at the three minute mark) Cale built up all the sweet, tortured anguish of Thom Yorke, never missing a single moment of the ever-increasing high notes that make up the bridge… “She’s running out the door – She’s running, She run, run, run, run… Run,” which brought raucous applause from everyone. When Cale was done, Jackie just looked at me and said, “Told ya.”

cale reneau of the woodlands performing radiohead's creep at the 6th annual woodlands idol preliminary

So for the second time in one night, I had goose bumps. And for the second time in three nights of competition, I was completely amazed at the level of talent we have here in The Woodlands.

I mean, sure, I’ve been singing since I was five, and performed in Concert Choir in Junior High – but that was a long, long time ago. I don’t even like getting up to talk in front of people, much less sing. I do have a pretty good ear, and have been known to pluck out a tune after a few short tries on my keyboard. And if it could speak, my steering wheel would attest to my carrying a tune quite well with the radio. But these guys? The ones on their way to the Semi-finals next week? Wow. To paraphrase Radiohead, “They’re so $&%@ing special.”

You don’t have to take my word for it, though. Come to the Semi-finals, hear them for yourselves. The semi-finals are on Friday, October 19, and finals on Friday, November 2; both are ticketed events. All events are being held at Papa’s Ice House in Spring. Tickets are only $10 and can be purchased at the Chamber offices, by mail when you download the ticket order form 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.

For pictures of the third preliminary event, check out our Flikr Album.


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