On Oct. 15 at Lakfefront stage, 10 local youths will sing their hearts out with hopes of capturing the title “Columbia Teen Idol” and a cash prize of $300. Hosted by the Columbia Association, the competition has been spotlighting teens every fall for 15 years.
“I still can’t believe it is our 15th year,” said Rene Buckmon, manager of the youth and teen programs for the Columbia Association. “We definitely have made some significant changes since the first one.”
Based on the television show “American Idol,” Columbia Idol is a singing competition featuring solo artists in grades six through 12. In its early years, only residents of Columbia could compete. Now, anyone in the surrounding areas is welcome to audition.
“Usually, we have a good 20 or more kids that have advanced to the semifinals,” Buckmon said. “We had a little less this year.”
After a series of auditions held in Sept. 13, semifinalists took to the stage at Slayton House on Oct. 5, knowing only 10 could advance to the finals.
“We didn’t use to have a semifinals,” Buckmon said. “We found we were at the lakefront a long time. Ten is a good number.”
For the semifinals, each contestant performed a few verses of a song. Snippets from pop songs by Ed Sheeran, Kelly Clarkson and Imagine Dragons were heard, as were musicals, including a song from “Phantom of the Opera.”
Jubilee Douglas, 12, had the whole house standing when she sang “The Star Spangled Banner.”
While she “wanted to unite” everyone with the performance, Jubilee chose the song for a different reason, she said.
“It has a lot vocal ranges, and I like to perform in many ranges,” she said.
Andrew Vesey, 16, had the unique advantage of being the only male in the competition.
“I stand out a little bit,” the rapper said, when he took to the stage. He performed a piece he wrote…