Fifteen Singing Cowboys: UW Idol Semi-Finals
Like the open auditions, the UW Idol Semi-Finals crowd filled out the lower section of the A&S Auditorium. The show opened with a bang—and a bit of a shocker. While Disney songs have been known to grace the UW Idol stage in the past, no one was expecting the first contestant, Jacob, to belt out “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from the movie Mulan. Jacob even made the effort to mimic the voices of the different characters in the song, including Mulan herself (his fake female voice got some laughs). After his performance, the MCs asked him who his favorite Disney Princess was. Jacob promptly responded, “The Little Mermaid.”
The next contestant, Amanda Kinley, sang “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from Phantom of the Opera. While her singing was great, Amanda had little stage movement, a trend that was quickly reversed by the following contestant, Levi, who sang “I Can’t Take my Eyes Off of You.” His dance during the instrumental parts of the song earned him cheers from the audience. Levi was followed by Bri Cordova, who, with a rich country accent sang, “Cowboy Casanova.” The next contestant, Rachel, had a loud cheering section, but unfortunately, her song “Faithfully” did not woo the judges who commented that the song was a little pitchy but at least she “had a great cheering section.” This earned the judge the first boos of the night, which were quickly moderated by the MCs.
The next string of contests included several sentimental songs, including Adel’s version of “To Make You Feel My Love,” “Open Arms,” and “Collide.” While the contestants sang well, an audience member who preferred only to be identified as a sarcastic graduating senior joking commented that the songs were “getting to his innards.” The next contestant, Jamie Jorgenson, switched from the sentimental songs to a rousing “Before He Cheats,” compete with a great stage presence. Diane Burke, dressed like it was 1986, sang “Play that Funky Music White Boy.” The upbeat music selections continued with “Why don’t We Just Dance” and “It’s Raining Men.” After the latter song, the male MCs walked on stage and proudly proclaimed that it was raining men, and after a look at both of them, the singer commented with a sneaky smile, “It is now.”
Of the final three contestants, two made it to the UW Idol finals. Corey, arguably the most passionate of all the contestants, sang “I Have Nothing,” which ended with the loudest round of applause and a few people standing. He made the final five. Bailey Bakeman, who also made the final five, sang “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. The night was rounded out by Mike Russel, a long-time UW Idol participant, who sang “Under the Bridge.”
While the judges deliberated, the two MCs preformed songs themselves, including an extra song by MC Wesley Kempton that was prefaced by “I have never tried this before.” But his beat boxing/singing was a hit with the audience. When the judges finally made their decision, Bri, Joey, Levi, Corey, and Bailey had made it to the final round. The final round of UW Idol will be held this Friday (February 11th) at the A&S Auditorium at nine.