This is the second of a three-part column series by idol judge Marissa Hutton-Gavel.
Friday night was the first of two performance rounds for CSU Idol. The 12 contestants we narrowed down from auditions earlier in the month performed at the Ramskeller for a crowd of their friends and a few unsuspecting bar goers.
As I said before, I had been looking forward to sitting behind a long table, notes in front of me, ready to tell the wannabe idols just what I thought. As it turns out though, I was not nearly as judgmental as I had planned to be.
Maybe it had something to do with the laid back environment, or the fact that no matter what I said, the kid with the biggest cheering section was going to make it through. Either way I was a little more Paula than I care to admit.
That’s not to say that the contestants weren’t deserving of accolades. Despite the myriad of flat notes that came blasting out of the speaker conveniently located right next to me and the nerves that left some of them standing alone in the spotlight with their eyes either closed or fixated on the floor, overall it was a good night.
Some of the guys worked the stage with a showman’s swagger that had the ladies whistling for them while the females belted out some impressive notes. It was clear who had an entourage in the house as certain performances were drowned out by shrieks and claps from supportive friends while others had to earn their applause.
I had my 15 seconds after each song to give suggestions, but in the end the audience got two votes each and my opinions were rarely more than stalling in between acts.
I was one among three other judges, all of whom echoed most of my comments as we went down the line. Only once did one of the judges straight up diss a singer. A hard hitting “I just didn’t like it” was all the Simon we could muster.
As for me, I’m coming out swingin’ tomorrow at the finals. It’s down to six students and we are naming the winner at the end of the night. I plan on watching as much of the real Idol as I can stand, studying every move Simon makes so I can throw out at least one constructive-yet-overbearingly-honest comment before they pass the mic to someone more deserving.
Come see the final performances in the Ramskeller at 7 p.m. on Friday. Admission is free and you can boo or cheer for whomever you choose.
Campus editor Marissa Hutton-Gavel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.