It’s difficult to run any kind of successful music competition year after year, but the organizers and the contestants at this year’s Emo Walleye Classic definitely rose to the occasion.
Not only was the entire evening a huge success, but the level of competition probably was the highest it’s been in recent years.
The evening began with the return of the popular “Minnow-idol” for performers aged eight-13. Six enthusiastic and talented young performers took to the stage in an effort to become this year’s champion.
Joleigh Hayes led off with her rendition of “It Happens” by Sugarland, followed by Martina Morriseau singing “Strutter” by Kiss.
Next, Isaac Firth—the only male in the competition—entertained those on hand with his version of “Fireflies” by Owl City.
The final three youngsters to perform were Krissy Halverson singing “Crazier” by Taylor Swift, Danielle Hammond with her rendition of “Good-Bye” by Miley Cyrus, and Krista Juenke performing “Here Comes Goodbye” by Rascal Flatts.
While judges Diane Maxey, Wayne Barron, and Trisha McQuaker retired for a few minutes, nine singers in the “Walleyedol” competition prepared to take to the stage.
The first performer was Kennedy Latimer, singing “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.
Next up was Alisha Hunter, performing “Like a Star’ by Corrine Bailey Rae, followed by Nelson Bragg singing his version of “You Found Me” by The Fray and Dawn Hayes with “Lost in 50s Tonight” by Ronnie Milsap.
The other performers in this year’s competition were Emily Turcotte (“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey), Mylo Smith (“Sexy, No, No, No” by Xenomania), Kayla Lauzon (“I Need a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler), Brittany Hayes (“I Know Where I’ve Been” from the musical “Hairspray”), and Dale Morriseau (“Cocaine Blues” by Johnny Cash).
After a brief break, the judges returned with the finalists in each category.
First, the finalists from “Minnow-idol” were asked to sing their second selection.
Krista Juenke sang “Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks, Krissy Halverson performed “Good-Bye” by Miley Cyrus, and Isaac Firth sang “Pictures of You” by The Last Good Night.
The finalists for the “Walleyedol” crown then were asked to sing their second selection.
Emily Turcotte offered “Falling for You” by Colbie Caillat, Kayla Lauzon sang “I Told You So” by Carrie Underwood, and Brittany Hayes performed “I’m the Only One” by Melissa Etheridge.
After another short consultation, the judges returned with their decision.
In the “Minnow-idol” competition, Firth received $100 for first place, Juenke took home $75 for second place, and Halverson received $50 for third place.
Firth also was declared the winner of the “People’s Choice” award and received an extra $25.
Emcee Robin McCormick announced this year’s competition was extremely close, and that the judges had stated the difference between some singers was a matter of just a few points.
The “Walleyedol” competition also was extremely tight.
The grand prize of $400 was awarded to Lauzon. The second-place winner, receiving $300, was Hayes.
The third-place prize of $200, as well as the “People’s Choice” award’ ($100), went to Turcotte.
McCormick thanked all the competitors, the judges, Joe Carlson of Yowza Music, and the entire audience for helping to make this year’s competition such a huge success.
“I was really happy with the participation level this year,” noted EWC entertainment director Laurel Mose.
“Fifteen is the maximum number of singers we allow and all the singers did such a great job,” she lauded.
Plans no doubt will begin soon for next year’s competitions. Anyone who enjoys singing should seriously think about competing in “Walleyedol” or “Minnow-idol.”
Meanwhile, the evening of entertainment at this year’s Emo Walleye Classic would not have been complete without the “Guitar Hero” competition.
Organizer Joe Carlson spent a good part of the evening encouraging people to join in.
Much to his delight, 12 serious competitors took part in this year’s contest. And the competition was fierce as players went head-to-head to score points and move to the next level.
The winner of the $100 prize was Connor Pocock.
This talented “Guitar Hero” repeated last year’s performance, gradually eliminating the competition before being declared the champion.
Next year’s music video game competition will be based on the “Rock Band” game.
Carlson would like to see a huge turnout for next year, so start putting your “band” together and spend some time this winter practising.