Terrace Idol finale crowns two 2017 winners
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Five finalists were ready to give it their all in the final round of Terrace Idol held on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m in the MTHS theater. In this round, contestants had to perform two songs of their choice and bring out more energy to the stage than ever before, with their second song being performed after the 10 minute intermission.
Two winners were then chosen: one voted on by the audience and the other chosen by the judges.
The 5 finalists in this round were MTHS students Tanner Rook, Rackeb Kelemu, Praditha Halstad, Kaylee Gohl and Jackson High student Sarah Holman.
The judging panel in this round was reduced to two judges. One of them being Emily Brotherton, who was in the panel for every round of Terrace Idol, with an extensive musical background. The other being hip hop recording artist Michael “Wanz” Wansley, who was featured in Seattle-based artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ international hit single “Thrift Shop.”
The first contestant to perform was senior Tanner Rook with his 1950s performance of “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley. During his performance, he showed a lot of body movement, using the microphone stand as an advantage to heighten his performance.
Brotherton said Rook’s performance was “fun to watch” and always entertaining to her. Following the intermission, his second song was “Somebody to Love” by Queen. This song included even more body movement as he air guitared to instrumental parts of the song and reached higher octaves that had the crowd cheering.
Freshman Kaylee Gohl started her performance with a ukulele version of “Royals” by Lorde. Her strong, resonating, warm voice was complimented by the judges.
Judges told Gohl to work more on opening her mouth so her words wouldn’t sound blurred in order to better the performance. Her second performance was “Riptide” by Vance Joy, adding her own runs to the song and having an upbeat nature following it.
Sophomore Rackeb Kelemu had two outstanding performances throughout this round. Her first song, “Dancing On My Own” by Calum Scott, included junior Sophie Parsons as her piano accompanist and sophomore Reed Lyon doing a contemporary dance during the performance.
The performance was commented on its uniqueness and emotions expressed. Kelemu was praised for her vibratos and Brotherton felt that she was “zoned in” throughout her performance.
Her second song choice was “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston, which included a gentle beginning in a minor key that slowly grew into a more powerful piece. She had a saxophone accompanist come out during the performance, having the crowd roaring.
Sophomore Praditha Halstad followed after Kelemu in the first half with her jazz performance of the song “All of Me” by Ella Fitzgerald. Her performance included her singing in a 50s jazz band composed of saxophone, trumpet, guitar, trombone, percussions, bass and piano student accompanists.
It brought out a fun, upbeat vibe to the Terrace Idol stage. Her second song choice was “Thinkin Bout You” by Frank Ocean. Showing strong emotions and smooth runs on high and low notes, junior Gian Neri and senior Damon Dahl joined Halstad to accompany her again after first appearing in the second round.
Wanz admired her use of dynamics, while proving his point by doing his own few second performance, pumping the crowd. Halstad was told to work more on communicating with her accompanist, but an overall great performance.
The out of district finalist, sophomore Sarah Holman, sang a guitar version of “Don’t You Worry Bout A Thing” by Stevie Wonder. Her performance was bold with her own unique runs, ranging tunes and reaching high octaves within this rendition of the song.
For her second performance, she sang an original song called “End Up Hurt” with a powerful voice. Her song had a playful tone to it as she told the story and her emotions through body movement and her eyes. She was admired for her talent in composing such a sweet song.
After the performances, Maddy Caiola, the 2016 Terrace Idol Judges Choice Winner, did a special performance on the song “Sandcastles” by Beyonce Knowles during the judges’ deliberation, emitting confidence and using a strong, smooth voice.
As all the votes and scores were brought in, the Terrace Idol 2017 winners were announced through the charismatic, dancing host Natu Abraham. All finalists were brought up to the stage, both the contestants and the audience anxiously waiting for the results.
Kelemu was announced to be the Terrace Idol winner and Rook as the Audience Choice winner.
“I honestly couldn’t believe it, because [to win Terrace Idol] was something that I wanted since freshman year,” Kelemu said.
She thinks “Terrace Idol is a great opportunity” to musicians as it’s “a way to meet other people.” From her experience, she learned that “failure isn’t bad, it’s something that you learn from” and something you can use to better improve yourself. She continues to take into heart what she’s learned and continue to enjoy music/singing.
Rook said that “to actually see people vote for me and actually know that people liked what I did was really cool.”
Having lots of musical experience with performing in numerous theatrical musicals, it helped him in the competition and enjoy performing as he “just wanted to have fun” and sing the songs that make him happy. He advises musicians to sing songs they like or are just able to work with because “when you like something, you’re going to put more effort into it.”
The night ended with thanking the senior class ASB and closing off with the iconic pop song “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan playing in the background. Abraham and Wanz danced with much hype to the song as people exited the theater.