Friday's CSU Idol competition, held in the Ramskeller, eliminated four more competitors, leaving only Veronica May, Mark Phipps and Jessica Harriman for the final competition.
Those left in the competition realize the singers they're going against are now down to the cream of the crop. The competition concludes Friday.
"Everybody here is really amazing," said Phipps, a sophomore open-option major.
Phipps said it seems to be his fellow competitors' superb voice quality – combined with an excellent stage presence – that has enabled them to get this far in the competition.
While last week's competition seemed to be the week for busting out witty quirks, this week seemed a chance to see a more serious side of the competitors' repertoire.
Freshman open-option major BriAnne Zigich personified the serious performances seen at this week's competition with her dramatic performance of the song "Wishing You Were Here," from Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera." Zigich, who did not advance to the next round, exhibited a very powerful presence as she graced the stage in a red dress, carrying a rose with a black silk ribbon tied around the stem.
Another singer who allowed audience members a glimpse into her more serious side was May, a senior music therapy major. In weeks past, this singer/songwriter/guitar player has gotten the whole audience laughing with quirky lyrics about alcoholic romance, 3-inch feet and two big teeth.
This week, while still grabbing the audience captive, May sang a reflective song about the struggle of finding one's self. May proved herself again to be a clever lyricist, even when writing a song with more serious undertones. Her latest performance included such lyrics as, "If you known all there is to know about me/let me know/I don't even know about me." May even earned a compliment from one judge, who said, "look out, Sarah McLachlan."
Guitar players seem to be adept at hanging on in this year's competition, and singer/songwriter/guitar player Phipps is no exception. Through a blend of self-written and cover songs Phipps has been able to successfully wow the CSU Idol judges every week. At Friday's competition, Phipps added another element to his performance by bringing his brother, Matt Phipps, up to play with him on stage in a very Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds-esque manor. One of the judges deemed the brothers' act as, "The best performance of the night."
Harriman, a freshman open-option major, will also be advancing next week.
While most Idol competitors have changed their style and genres throughout the competition, one singer seems to like sticking with what works. Freshman chemistry major Sarah Stover, who will not be advancing, wowed the audience for the third week in a row with yet another country song.
Friday's was arguably Stover's best performance, with her soulful rendition of "Blue Moon Over Kentucky." Stover started off strong with the song's smooth accapella intro and launched gracefully into the toe-tapping country beat when the music joined in. One thing that has seemed to keep Stover in the competition thus far is her ability to engage the audience while she performs. In true country style Stover often yells phrases such as "Ya'll having a good time?" out at the audience halfway through her songs,
"You have to have a lot of energy. If you make sure you're having fun, then the audience is probably having fun too," she said.
The final three Idol competitors will take the stage 7 p.m. Friday in the Ramskeller.