By Meghan Bobrowsky,
The third and final night of the Davis Idol singing competition took place Saturday, Jan. 30 in the Richard Brunelle Performance Hall. Ten contestants displayed their vocal talents for a chance to win $200. A $50 prize was also up for grabs for the People’s Choice winner.
The judges were DHS band teacher director Thomas Slabaugh II, St. James Director of Music Dr. Kathleen Deagan and Shovl’n Blarney band member Carl Schwedler.
With all seats in the auditorium filled, senior MCs Jasmine Casillas and Ashley Catanyag introduced themselves and the opening performance, the Banana Jammers. The DHS band consists of seniors Ben Simmons, Gabe Reynolds and Alex Timmons, as well as Simmons’ older brother Brian. The band performed Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” along with two original songs.
Then the competition began with junior Benjamin Cross singing “One Song Glory” from the musical “Rent.” Cross engaged the audience and judges as he belted out the chorus. He was followed by senior Navya Chauhan who sang a beautiful rendition of “One and Only” by Adele.
The first night’s People’s Choice winner, senior Kristen Chastain, impressed the judges once again with Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.” Senior Elan Sonstein gained the support of the audience as he confidently sang “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. Senior Anthony DiCarlo followed, wowing the judges with his emotional rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel.
Next, senior Maya Krishnan sang “Manhattan” by Sara Bareilles. Krishnan’s performance concluded with a standing ovation from Schwedler and almost half of the audience.
Bravely taking on a Beyoncé song, senior Miranda Alvarez performed “If I Were A Boy.” Junior Andrea Pincilotti showcased her wide range of notes with “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban. Simone Gamble, the only freshman to advance to the finals, performed her rendition of “Beautiful Times” by Owl City.
Sophomore Abhi Vemulapati concluded the competition with “I’m Not the Only One” by Sam Smith. An intermission followed, in which audience members voted for their favorite contestant.
After the short break, Banana Jammers performed another original song: “Everything I Need.” Following them, last year’s winner, junior Savannah Greenwood and her dad, Bill, followed with a mash-up of “Monster” by Eminem and “Wake Me Up” by Avicii.
Casillas and Catanyag re-appeared to show a video about the contestants’ personalities and dreams.
Next, the Advanced Treble Choir (ATC) sang “It’s Raining Men” by Paul Shaffer and Paul Jabara. The all-girl choir wore matching black dresses and rain boots while holding different colored umbrellas.
With a drumroll, Casillas and Catanyag announced that Pincilotti was the People’s Choice winner and Krishnan was the 2016 winner of Davis Idol. Krishnan’s smile lit up the entire auditorium as she entered the stage to receive her flowers.
The senior, also an ATC member, wrapped up the night by singing “Rise Up” by Sara Bareilles.
“It’s just a great experience that I got to share this day with so many people that I love,” Krishnan said.
ATC Director Karen Gardias thought the show went smoothly and explained that the majority of preparation was done by the students.
“We’ve probably moved to a new level with [Davis] Idol. It’s so student-driven now, which is fantastic to see them shine so well,” Gardias said.
Schwedler has been a Davis Idol judge in the past and was surprised by the amount of talent this year.
“It was of course entertaining to hear the contestants, but also a privilege to be able to interact with them and provide them with feedback,” he said.