Oct 122008
Authors: Jessica Cline

Before a Homecoming audience at Saturday’s game, the CSU Idol singing competition, which began in September and mirrored the popular reality television show “American Idol,” concluded as freshman biology major Katie Beilman emerged the winner.

The announcement was made in the game’s fourth quarter, following a halftime showdown between the two finalists, Beilman and sophomore vocal education major Cammie Kolber.

This was the first time in the five years of the CSU Idol competition that the CSU Marching Band provided musical accompaniment for both finalists. Each finalist sang a solo and a duet on a platform at Hughes Stadium, and the crowd cheered them on.

“It was an amazing experience. Everyone was really supportive through the whole experience,” Beilman said. “And the band did an amazing job.”

Fans were asked to vote via text message for their favorite performer. Beilman won a $1,000 scholarship and an Apple iPod as well as the title of CSU Idol.

The second place winner, Kolber, won a $500 scholarship and an iPod. The third place winner, Josh Savage, won a $500 scholarship and the chance to perform the national anthem and the CSU Alma Mater at the Homecoming game.

“Being able to sing with the marching band backing me up and singing in front of all the people in the stands was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Kolber said.

The process started with 42 performers and was narrowed down each round to 13, three and finally two performers.

“They had different rounds of elimination and the text voting,” the third place winner, Josh Savage, said. “It was a lot like the real ‘American Idol.'”

The songs that the finalists sang at Homecoming were chosen by the CSU Marching Band director, J. Steven Moore, based on what he thought would work best for the band and the singers, said Kelly D’Aniell, the special events coordinator for the Association of Student Activity Programming.

“This is the first year ASAP has co-programmed with the CSU Marching Band, making CSU Idol bigger than it has ever been before, with the opportunity to perform at the CSU football game,” D’Aniell said.

The band and the performers held practices together to make sure they all knew the songs and were able to perform them.

“It was a really good experience,” Savage said. “Even the rehearsals were really fun, and the band had such a good attitude.”

With the success of CSU Idol in the past and this current year, D’Aniell said, CSU Idol will continue as long as there is interest.

Staff writer Jessica Cline can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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