The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Entertainment

April 26, 2013

Idol competition draws out the talent to Hoosier Park

Got what it takes to be a semifinalist?

ANDERSON, Ind. — It’s quite possible there’s a star being born right here in Anderson.

Hoosier Park’s Idol All-In contest is underway, tempting local talent to take the stage and see if they have what it takes. When all is said and done, one competitor will walk away with $2,500, a studio recording session and a gig at Hoosier Park.

Last week, 27 brave souls came seeking a spot on the audition stage. After prescreening, 22 of those people got to compete by belting out their version of a pop, rock, or country song in front of an audience and the judges. This is the third year for the Idol competition at Hoosier Park, and the first time it is open to multiple genres.

Another  group of Idol wannabes auditioned last night, and a final group will go before the judges on May 2. Each time, three singers are selected for the semi-final competition on May 16.

“I’m very nervous,”  said Amanda Robinson. It was a sentiment shared by many of her competitors. Robinson made the trip from Royal Center, with her soon-to-be husband, Rick Benn.

“She sings good, really good,” said Benn. “I think she’s got a really great chance of winning.”

Judges were looking for three things: vocal ability, stage presence and marketability. They were very forthcoming in their critiques.

Michelle Belle Cook, of the professional country music duo Cook & Belle, and Anderson artist development professional Mark Pay were experienced Hoosier Idol judges. Gaither Studio sound engineer Chad Evans was new to the judging trio.

“We just have to be really honest,” said Cook.

Robinson made the cut with her a cappella rendition of “Independence Day” by Martina McBride. She was first up on the stage with the mic later in the evening when the auditions launched.

Each competitor paid $25 to secure an audition spot. Hoosier Park events and entertainment manager Adam Kallick said the fees go to United Way, but help to draw out only the serious contenders.

Ultimately, judges heard performances that spanned from Pink Floyd to Etta James to Chris Young. Performers belted, cooed and crooned to a warm audience that sometimes erupted in applause or appreciative hoots.

When all the dust settled last week, three semifinalists were left standing.

“I’m very excited. It’s a great opportunity,” said Michael Thomas, who sang “Fix You” by Coldplay. The Anderson native now resides in Indianapolis, and attends school with his eye on a degree in the music field.

“I’m excited to sing with a live band and put it all out there,” said Thomas.

Layke Jones snagged a semifinalist spot with “God Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts. The Anderson University freshman, who hails from Anderson, is taking the judges’ comments to heart.

“They really hear some soul in my voice,” said Jones. He’s planning to play that to his advantage by choosing a different song to showcase it. The music major has sung at show choir and marching band.

Hailey Earp, another AU student, performed her own version of “Never Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift.  

“She’s kind of folky-pop genre,” said Kallick. “She has her own sound — very unique.”

After next week’s final audition, the nine semifinalists will compete on May 16, accompanied by the Cook and Belle band. Then, May 25 at 10 p.m. the three vocalists left standing will give it their all as they seek to be this year’s Idol.

1
Text Only
Entertainment
  • FEA - HB0822 - PHHS band - DH - 001 PHHS marching band, Directors Jazz Orchestra to perform The Pendleton Heights High School Marching Arabians Band and Directors Jazz Orchestra are putting on a show for the community at 6 p.m. Sunday at Falls Park.

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • United Way wants community to pull together United Way of Madison County decided to encourage the community to pull together – literally.

    August 21, 2014

  • FEA - HB0821 - camera exhibit - DK - 016 Historical Society opens camera, photography exhibit Photos freeze moments in time to look back on, and now the public can catch a glimpse at how photographic technology has evolved.

    August 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • Historic barn tour and workshop Sept. 19 Across Indiana, barns of all ages and types have been successfully rehabilitated for modern farming and other uses. On Sept. 19, Indiana Landmarks offers BARN AGAIN!, a workshop to help owners maximize use of vintage barns.

    August 20, 2014

  • NWS - HB0817 - Elwood Glass - 016 Glass tours offer unique perspective Although many visitors to the Elwood Glass Festival go for the food, vendors and rides, they also have a unique opportunity to visit the glass factories that give the festival its name.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alex Grand Prix set for Aug. 23-24 The third annual Alexandria Grand Prix Street Race will be held Saturday and Sunday in downtown Alexandria.

    August 16, 2014

  • NWS - HB0816 - glass festival - 001 Glass Festival celebrates Elwood history With a snip from Mayor Ron Arnold's scissors and a performance by the Elwood High School marching band, the 43rd Elwood Glass Festival officially kicked off Friday.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0819 - Glass Festival file - DK - 01 43rd Elwood Festival kicks off today A new community mascot is just one thing to celebrate this weekend. The 43rd Annual Elwood Glass Festival runs today through Sunday, and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marcy Fry said there are plenty of new attractions for the decades-old event.

    August 15, 2014 5 Photos

  • Live music: Aug. 15 The following listings for live music and entertainment at area venues are published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 14, 2014

  • FEA - HB0813 - Paramount Anderson Prom 2014 136 Paramount celebrates 85 years The doors first opened on Aug. 20, 1929. Eighty-five years later, the Paramount Theatre Centre and Ballroom is having a double celebration with three events this week

    August 12, 2014 3 Photos