Spotlight shines on Idol hopefuls

17 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – Something special happened Friday night during the first of two central Aroostook Idol competitions.
After what judges called an “awesome performance,” the audience at the Presque Isle Middle School Auditorium gave Limestone’s Annie Charles a standing ovation.
     Charles, who was encouraged by her colleagues at DFAS in Limestone to register for the competition, sang an uplifting and powerful rendition of “Lord You Are Holy” by Helen Baylor.
“It’s like the Heavenly Father opened up the clouds and dropped you down to us,” said judge Renee Cavagnaro, a former Aroostook Idol winner. “You were amazing … great … I’m speechless.”
Eleven singers from the region competed; three were chosen by the audience to move on to the finale, which will be held March 4 at the Caribou Performing Arts Center. Charles’ performance impressed the audience enough to advance her to the finals along with the evening’s two other winners, Julie Shaw of Westfield (“Call on Jesus” by Nicole C. Mullen) and Julie Curtis of Chapman (“It Hurt So Bad” by Susan Tedeschi).
Aroostook Idol, organized by the United Way of Aroostook, is in its third year. The county-wide search for a top vocalist raised nearly $35,000 for the organization last year. The funds are used to support non-profit agencies across Aroostook.
Shaw’s performance impressed judge Scott Voisine.
“You did a wonderful job,” he said. “If you don’t make it to the finals, the audience is wearing earplugs.”
Judge Sherrill Campbell was equally pleased with Curtis’ song.
“Wow! You’re sassy, you look great … I loved everything about your performance,” Campbell said.
“It was wonderful,” said Cavagnaro. “You’ve got a rocker voice with a sassy attitude. You had the crowd in the palm of your hand.”
Other Friday night contestants included:
• Randolph Michaud of Mapleton who sang “Y’all Come” by Porter Wagoner.
• Lydia Abbott of Washburn who sang “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.
• Heather Searles of Caribou who sang “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me.
• Adam Simoes of Presque Isle singing “Believe” by Brooks and Dunn.
• Jessica McLeod of Caribou singing “In the Arms of the Angel” by Sarah McLachlan.
• April Espling of Caribou who sang “Angels in Waiting” by Tammy Cochran.
• Sherri Zbylut of Caribou singing “Why” by Nicole Nordeman.
• Al Abbott of Washburn who sang “I Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.
The evening’s co-hosts were Jason Parent and Sandi Bouchard who kept the show moving along despite some audio difficulties. While the audience votes were being tabulated, 2006 Aroostook Idol Samantha Boutot performed two numbers.
The final regional Aroostook Idol will happen Friday night in Fort Kent as singers take to the stage in the northern Aroostook’s competition to be held at 7 p.m. at the Fox Auditorium on the University of Maine at Fort Kent campus.
The Aroostook Idol finale will be held Sunday, March 4 at 2 p.m. at the Caribou Performing Arts Center. Admission is $8. Tickets are available at any Key Bank branch in Aroostook County. For more information, contact the United Way of Aroostook at 764-5197.