So You Wanna be an American Idol?
Locals compete for a chance to audition for the hit TV show
No credit on graphic.Wondering who the next break-out Chico singer might be?
Local station Fox 30 recently sponsored an event aimed at feeding on the popularity of the hit television show American Idol (you know, on which amateur singers perform live karaoke before a panel of candid TV judges, who rip their performances to shreds, much to the delight of the viewing audience).
All day Saturday, Nov. 9, local singers aged 18-24 performed two-minute a cappella versions of songs of their choice at the Win River Casino in Redding in hopes of winning an expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles and a guaranteed slot on the American Idol national audition Nov. 17.
Promotional director Dawn Cummings said entry forms were distributed at Taco Bell locations throughout the North Valley area, including Gridley, Willows, Oroville, Corning, Anderson and Chico. Serious participants were asked to mail their entries, and a few others were chosen during late-night KLRS radio shows, as DJs were asking callers to actually sing over the radio waves.
“We had great response, with over 200 people writing in,” said Cummings. “The top people chosen during the day performed at night for the finals in front of a packed audience of around 1,200 people at the casino.”
About 134 singers performed at the event, with a few contestants coming from as far away as the Oregon border and the San Rafael area. The competition lasted all day, with the number of participants being weeded down through different “heats.” Judges included local jazz singer Holly Taylor and two radio DJs from Power 94. When it was all over, one man was left standing: Chico’s own Greg Scott II, the chiseled son of local rocker/mortician Greg Scott.
“It was a great event,” said Scott II, who appears to revel in his teen pheromone power on the Ricky Martin-like cover of his latest self-produced CD (pictured). “I’m so excited that I don’t have to wait in line now for the Los Angeles auditions. I’m even staying in the same hotel where they take place.”
So, out of more than 6,000 would-be stars in L.A., Scott II will get a simple phone call to his room and can waltz right down into his audition. He says that he will likely perform the same tune in L.A. that won for him at Win River Casino, Stevie Wonder’s piano ballad “Lately.” His big dream, he says, is to be signed by a major label and to live in L.A. and enjoy the rock star’s life.
“Once we got down to the 18 semifinalists, it was very tough,” said Fox 30 office manager Paula Murphy. “There is some great talent in this area … but Greg Scott just killed ’em with his stage show. The whole event was such a good show I think we actually could have charged admission.”
At least one of the contestants, Melissa Cardin (from story), felt otherwise.
“Worst experience of my life," she said. "Total crap. They just wanted image, and that’s why Scott won. Because he’s total boy band material. Not only was it a waste of time, but somebody stole my CDs."