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Making waves

Stephanie Wylie wins Ennis Idols contest Saturday
Talent, confidence and a little help from Celine Dion enabled Stephanie Wylie to sail away from the fish-themed Ennis Idols competition Saturday night with flying colors.
Singing “Tell Him” by Dion, Wylie’s smooth performance of the romantic ballad enthralled the San Jacinto Auditorium audience as well as held the attention of judges Cathy Criner, Michael Self and Barbara Webb.
“Wow!” Webb said in her critique of Wylie.
“All right!” was Criner’s equally excited response. “You’re easy to listen to.”
Self was also impressed. “You hit it,” he said. “I even put my pencil down to listen.”
Despite Wylie’s popularity, picking one winner from the talented lineup of students who participated in the finale of the Ennis Idols fund-raiser for the Ennis High School Choirs was no easy task, fans admitted.
Each of the contestants in the last round of the sixth annual Ennis Idols gave performances worthy of the applause and high marks they drew.
Lauren Munn, awarded second place in the concert series, sang Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” with honesty and passion, though her voice was considered “pitchy” at times by Criner. Webb liked Munn’s “flirty skirt” and commented on her improved level of confidence. Self also congratulated her western costume and “good presentation,” but felt she looked “nervous” at times.
The only male in the contest, Patrick Sheah, showcased his stellar voice with John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Webb thought he gave a “lovely interpretation” of the classic 1970s peace anthem, adding that the “song was good” and the ‘sound was great.” Self agreed but observed that such a mellow selection didn’t enable Sheah to “use the stage.”
But Criner was enthusiastic over his “wonderful falsetto” demonstration.
“You’re going to go places,” she told him.
Brittany Jurcik’s spirited handling of “Kerosene” by Miranda Lambert garnered praise, too.
“Your use of the stage was great and your interpretation was great,” Criner said.
“You did a nice job, had fun with it and it was working,” Webb said.
Self also approved of the way she “used the stage.”
After Jurcik’s appearance was Wylie’s winning act, followed by Kacie Walker’s performance of “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” the 1980s smash success by Pat Benetar. Walker, who won third place in the competition, inhabited the rock and roll tune she chose with energy and finesse.
“I think you just hit us with your best shot, and we liked it,” Webb said.
Criner also liked Walker’s interpretation, while Self complimented her on her “big voice.”
Amanda Bohanon provided the final act of the evening, and according to one long-time music teacher in the audience, “had the best voice of all.” It may only have been the young singer’s mishandling of the microphone that cost her a place in the final three.
Self called Bohanon’s selection of “Inside Your Heaven” by Carrie Underwood “a pretty song” but was critical of what he thought was a “pitchy” falsetto. Criner raved about her “gorgeous voice,” and Webb liked Bohanon’s costume and movement.
The singers were supervised by EHS Choir Director Chara Wade, who announced the winners at the close of the show. Ariel Bernal served as a lively mistress of ceremonies, and during intermission, the audience was entertained by singer/guitarist Matt Ludwig.
Choir Boosters were Terri Daniels, Laurie Walker and Dan and Pat York. Sound Technicians were Robert Brazier and Jessica Bohanon. Lights were supervised by Kevin York.
Audience members included City of Ennis Inspector Milton Booher with his family and Ennis Public Theatre director Bill Rhoten.

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Posted by on Jan 30 2007. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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