6th Annual The Woodlands Idol – Semi-finals

Posted by Woodlands Traveler on October 24, 2012 in Concerts |

Sixth Annual The Woodlands Idol

The Semi-Finals

This was it – the semi-final had thirty contestants which had made it through the preliminaries for the sixth annual The Woodlands Idol competition in either the first, second or third rounds – and there were high moments of excitement and disappointments.

Once again the majority of song selections were country – well, okay, only a slight majority; okay… it was really close to just half and half. But you know how I feel about country music. Aside from my musical preferences, I still wouldn’t have wanted to be a judge. It had to have been tough to choose just nine of the thirty (well, twenty-eight) semi-finalists to move on to the finals in two weeks. There were several song repeats from the first three rounds, but only once by the same contestant; an error that is a disqualifying event, incidentally. Contestants are not allowed to sing the same song more than once in preliminaries, semi-finals or finals; so each person should be prepared to perform at least three songs.

the woodlands idol second preliminary winners for 2013

I don’t have room here to give a run-down of all 28 contestants’ songs, but of the nine judges’ picks, there was some real variety. First up to make it into the finals was Morgan McKay (4), with a rousing rendition of Reba McEntire’s “Why Haven’t I Heard From You?” with so much enthusiasm, it was hard to get a clear picture of her. She was dancing all around and having a great time. At the other end of the spectrum, the first male to advance was Timothy Blair (9), performing another selection from The Temptations, “I Wish It Would Rain.” He’s a guy that likes his classics. We had to take a quick break to allow for Jon Sheptock’s previously recorded performance of Daughtry’s “Home,” as he was unable to attend the semi-finals due to extenuating circumstances. It was a little hard to hear him over the din of the crowd in the house, but he did great. Two more in quick succession to get in were Heather Wiley (#12) in the most fun/interesting/unusual selection of the night with “Cowboy’s Sweetheart” by LeAnn Rimes, complete with yodel and Jake Muck (#16), channeling his boy-band style covering Ne-yo’s “Because of You.”

It took a little bit, but the next one to make it past the judges was Niki Uzell (#22) with her take on the Dixie Chicks’ “Sin Wagon.” That was the very song performed by Myi Watson a few weeks back, who unfortunately didn’t show up for the semi-finals.

Rounding out the final nine judges’ picks for finals were Zachary Jones (#27), with another fun performance; he chose Jason Aldean’s “Crazy Town.” Zachary’s extremely enthusiastic on stage, and very at ease. Next was little Jordan Burmeister (#29) leaving Adele behind from a couple weeks back for a little country, belting out Martina McBrides’ “Broken Wing.” And finally it was #30, Daryl Bullinger, who gave us a stirring performance of Garth Brooks’ “More Than A Memory.”

And even though there was a lot of great performances, I was still disappointed a few times. First of all, Jim Tillmans – who hotly crooned out “Fever” in Round 1, was the other no-show of the night. Then my other favorite crooner, Brian Kennedy (#17), didn’t make the cut with his rendition of Nina Simone’s “Feelin’ Good.” I was really sad, I liked them both a lot. I also really liked (okay, loved), Cale Reneau’s performance of “Creep” by Radiohead in Round 3, but he just didn’t hit the mark this time around with the judges when he covered Blues Traveler’s “Hook.” I get it, though, I suppose. The really fast, almost white-rap parts of that one are hard to get your tongue around.

My final disappointment of the night was when Jessi Cowart (#18) didn’t make it past the judges. She’s a fantastic singer, even with the obvious nervousness in her stage presence. But if practice makes perfect, she’ll still get her chance, as she was voted in as the People’s Choice for the finals after a fantastic performance of Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m The Only One.”

Jessi garnered all kinds of applause, shouts and screams from her cheering section, which is pretty clearly the way she got voted in – she had a huge fan-base. And as for that stage-fright I thought I detected? Well, like I said, I’m not a judge. Plus it really seemed to wear off the further into the song she got. By the end I was cheering out loud for her, too!

jessi cowart of the woodlands performing melissa etheridge's i'm the only one at the 6th annual woodlands idol semi-finals

The final round is just days away, and the excitement is palpable. I can’t wait to see who the judges pick to be named the next “The Woodlands Idol!” The choice will be tough, and I think no matter who gets in, they all deserve the accolades they’ve received throughout this competition.

Come to the Finals, hear them for yourselves. Finals on Friday, November 2. 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 semi-finals event, check out our Flikr Album.

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