Crowning of a new Idol

Meredith Somers

Jenn Press is $150 richer. She did not rob the bookstore, nor did she make a trip to Mohegan Sun. The junior now has a fuller wallet thanks to her first place finish at QU Idol on Feb. 5.

The second Idol of the year, the singing competition was held in Alumni Hall and was sponsored by Quinnipiac After Dark (QUAD). It featured four singers competing over three rounds of competition.

The first round was “singer’s choice” where the performer decided what song to sing, and in what style. Second place finisher Shealene McGuinness, chose to sing Jem’s “Just a Ride” with two guitarists, while the other three chose a cappella or instrumental back-up.

A karaoke round followed, in which the audience was given the job of choosing a song from a list provided by the head of QUAD, Jason Greenwood.

Sophomore Antonia Mancini, who came in third place, sang Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” but not before providing comedic relief while the karaoke machine experienced technical difficulties.

In between the second and third round, last semester’s Idol winner Moses Beckett, and his friends Jason Goubourn and Doron Flake provided intermission entertainment in the form of a group effort on the song “Love” by Musiq. It received a standing ovation from several sections of the crowd.

The final round was entirely a cappella. Fourth place finisher and first-time competitor Betsy Girard sang “Killing Me Softly” by The Fugees. Similar to her other two times on stage, she encouraged audience participation.

Judging began once the rounds ended.

The panel consisted of six judges including returning freshmen James Capozzi and Amy Reichlen.

New to the competition was freshman Steve Tisi, who said the hardest round to judge was the karaoke.

Beckett and his companions made up the other half of the judging panel.

Capozzi said, “We based the score on performance, [how well they knew the] lyrics, and talent. There was less deliberation this year because there were fewer competitors. ”

Press’ performance, including Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me,” apparently held up to the Idol panel’s expectations.

Nicole Harimin and Heather Zaccone came with several fellow sophomores to see the competition.

They said that even though they did not know anyone performing, they liked the original American Idol and decided to come see what the QU version was all about. It was their first Idol experience.

When asked what they thought about the show Harimin and Zaccone both agreed that they “weren’t sure the performers would make it to Hollywood, but they were all still good.”