Every year, thousands of hopeful singers from all over the US attempt to fulfill their dreams by auditioning to become the next “American Idol.”
Several SU students have a similar dream and share a passion for expressing their talents.
Auditioning for “American Idol” might be a little out of reach for many of them right now, but the campus singing competition Ship Idol allows these vocally gifted students to showcase their talents and compete for the title of being the best singer at SU.
Last semester, many students auditioned to be a part of Ship Idol.
After the audition process was over, only 10 talented singers made the final cut.
The first round of the competition began on Tuesday, Feb. 7 in the Ceddia Union Building (CUB) multipurpose room (MPR) at 7:30 p.m. where all of the contestants were required to sing a Disney song of their choice.
The singers were judged and critiqued by Jean Martinez, who was the very first Ship Idol winner; SU resident director akirah massenberg; and two Resident Assistants from Rho Alpha Sigma, Jimmy Thren and Natasha Clever.
First to take the stage was Emily Bentzle singing “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas.”
Bentzle set the tone for the rest of the show by singing with confidence, clarity and pizzazz.
Martinez said he was blown away by the performance and told Bentzle that every year someone sings “Colors of the Wind” for Disney week, and this was the best rendition he has heard so far.
Following Bentzle was the spunky and charismatic Briana Blewett who sang “You’ll be in my Heart” from “Tarzan.”
Blewett sang with a passion and charm that let the judges and the audience know she truly enjoys performing and singing.
Despite all of the fun she was having, some of the judges thought her voice was a little flat at some points and that she could do better.
Blewett took the criticism with her head held high and anticipates to do better in her future performances.
After the upbeat performance delivered by Blewett; Rebbecca Smith slowed things down by singing “Reflections” from “Mulan.”
The judges said she needs to work on her vocals, but she sang the song very passionately and that showed she was trying to convey personal message to the audience.
Smith took her performance a step further by wearing a black Japanese-style robe.
The wardrobe choice enhanced her performance by showing that she put thought into it. Thren was very impressed by this.
“You took a risk by wearing that outfit, but I loved it,” he said.
As the competition continued, the contestants impressed the audience with their vocal talents and performance skills by singing classic Disney songs.
Some of the performances consisted of, “Tale as Old as Time” from “Beauty and the Beast” by Kaneisha Stern; “Kiss the Girl” from “The Little Mermaid” by Alexis Matthews; “Own Little Corner” from Roger and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” by Juele Stokes and “Can you feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King” by Connor Kennedy.
While the audience was pleased with the performances, the judges were a little bit tougher.
They told these contestants that they were not singing to the best of their ability, and that they know they can do better and that is what they want to see. Martinez said he’s only being tough because he cares and knows how great all of the contestants are and wants them to do the best that they can.
While all of the performances were impressive, some stood out among others.
Marcella Best got the crowd pumped as she sang a newer Disney song “Cheetah Sisters,” from the “Cheetah Girls.”
The fast-paced, high-energy jam had the audience clapping along to her soulful and enthusiastic voice. The judges were also very impressed by Best’s performance.
Following Best’s up-beat song was Gillian Dolen who sang “Won’t Say I’m in Love” from “Hercules.”
Dolen sang with a confidence level that the judges really liked. They told her she is a really good singer with a really good range but may be a little too confident; but overall she is a great singer and entertainer.
Finishing off the talent-filled night was the bubbly red-headed Emily Keen singing “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid.”
Keen had the audience smiling and giggling with joy as she sang the song.
She worked the whole stage and used hand gestures and motions to make the song come alive.
From the voice to the hair, to the sea-blue outfit Keen convinced almost everyone that she was Ariel. It was obvious that she was very into the song and enjoyed being on stage.
Once the song was over, Keen’s fellow contestants and the rest of the audience gave her a standing ovation.
The judges were overflowing with excitement and compliments to Keen and her performance.
The show began and ended with two amazing performances by two Emilys.
After all of the performances, all 10 idols sang “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from “Cinderella” as their group song.
While they were singing this, the audience was given the opportunity to vote.
Every audience member was given a ticket upon their entrance which counts as one vote toward their favorite contestant.
The contestant with least amount of tickets/votes is eliminated from the competition.
Unfortunately for Rebbecca Smith, her journey on Ship Idol had to come to an end.
Ship Idol is held every Tuesday night at 7:30 in the CUB MPR. This week’s theme is love songs, which coincidentally, falls on Valentine’s Day.