Putting a successful entertainment program together year after year can be difficult at the best of times.
But Laurel Mose, director of entertainment for the Emo Walleye Classic, did it again this year with another excellent competition.
Emcee Robin McCormick thanked everyone for coming out to support the competitors, introduced the judges, and then outlined the program, which began with the “Minnow-idol” competition for singers aged eight-13.
The first performer was Danielle Hammond, who sang “Picture to Burn.” Martina Morriseau then took to the stage with her version of “Rolling in the Deep.”
Next up was Mykenzie Borger, who chose “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. She was followed by Jillian Armstrong, who performed “White Horse” by Taylor Swift, and Rachel Elias singing “Back to December.”
The final “Minnow-idol” singer was Jolie Hayes, who entertained the crowd with “The House that Built Me.”
While the young performers awaited the decision of the judges, the contestants for the “Walleyedol” competition took to the stage.
First up was Kennedy Latimer, who sang “Alone” by Heart. Mylo Smith then took to the stage with his version of “Untouchable.”
The third performer was Bridget Georgeson, who sang “Little Bit Stronger” by Sara Evans. She was followed by Nelson Bragg, who gave an excellent performance of “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.
The next performer to take to the stage was Katelyn Shortreed, singing “White Liar” by Miranda Lambert. Then it was Ken Brown’s turn to entertain the audience with his version of “I Just Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael Bublé.
The final “Walleyedol” performer was Tiffany Veldhuisen, a newcomer to the competition, who dazzled the crowd with “Rolling in the Deep.”
To many who have attended the competitions over the years, the overall quality of the competitors and their level of preparedness definitely has improved—a sentiment echoed by Diane Maxey one of the three local musicians who acted as judges for the evening.
“You should all be proud of your efforts tonight,” enthused Maxey. “Your song selection was perfect and your interpretation was excellent.”
The other judges on hand for the competition, Wayne Barron and Trisha McQuaker, obviously agreed with Maxey as they took several minutes backstage before announcing the top three plus the “People’s Choice” award for both “Minnow-idol” and “Walleyedol.”
While the judges were totalling the scores of each performer, the audience was invited to the front of the stage to place their $2 bid on their favourite performer.
Shortly after, the judges returned to the stage and Maxey gave the emcee their results.
The winner of the “Minnow-idol” competition was Borger, who took home the $100 first prize.
In second was Hayes ($75) while Hammond took third ($50), with Morriseau capturing the “People’s Choice” award ($25).
First place in the “Walleyedol” competition went to Brown, who earned $400.
Second place was captured by Bragg ($200), with Georgeson taking third ($100) and Veldhuisen winning the “People’s Choice” award ($100).
“Thank you to all the performers for giving us a great evening of music, to the judges for volunteering their time, and to Joe Carlson of Yowza Music for providing the music and technical support,” said McCormick.
The evening’s entertainment then concluded with a short but competitive version of “Guitar Hero” hosted by Carlson.
After a series of “head-to-head” showdowns between contestants of various ages, the finalists took to the stage.
Katelyn Shortreed, who earlier proved her abilities as a singer, demonstrated her skills on the guitar as she gave Brandon Pelepetz a run for his money.
In the end, however, Pelepetz pulled ahead, winning by the narrowest of margins to take home the $100 prize.
Although for many people the most important part of the EWC is the weigh-ins each day, many others also enjoy the Friday night performances of the singers from across the district.