No matter what the judges felt as their attention was glued to week three of Delco Idol Junior at The Media Theatre on July 29, the audience most certainly had a good time due to the crowd pleasing performances from each contestant.
Emcee Bill Vargus was also a hit with the audience as he eased the anxiety of those competing and their families with a bit of a stand-up comedy routine at the start of the show. His comments on, "What makes you say 'Duh?'" were entertaining and set the mood for an upbeat evening.
Artistic Director Jesse Cline's conversational interviews with each contestant following their performances is also a big hit with audiences and a highlight of Delco Idol Junior, particularly when dealing with pre-teens whose responses tend to seesaw from slightly confused to downright humorous (unintentionally so, and absolutely unrehearsed).
One of the most memorable conversations of the night took place following JD Triolo's performance of "Not While I'm Around" from the dark Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd. Cline asked little 10-year-old JD if he knew what the show was about to which JD replied, "A barber and a lady who makes pies. The barber kills the people." Cline said, "Do you know where they go?" JD paused for a moment and said, matter-of-factly: "Heaven." After a few seconds of audience response, Cline said, "Actually they end up in the pies."
Another highlight was immediately following Alex Smith's rendition of the Barenaked Ladies' song "If I Had A Million Dollars." Tiny Alex, 7 years old, sang the first part of the song with a stuffed monkey, but during the second half of the song threw the inanimate animal into the audience with a thrust of power that seemed unworldly for such a small singer. Cline, after the song, said, "I can't believe you treated your monkey like that." Alex simply shrugged his shoulders and said, "It wasn't real."
The performances, however, are all real and as honest as can be. From Broadway tunes to country and pop, the audience is treated to a delightful evening in which each contestant does the best they can do to "wow" the judges and the audience. How the judges can decide who returns and who goes home is anyone's guess, but indeed that is their duty and, once again, there were contestants who will not be returning for week four of Delco Idol Junior. They are: Amber Duncan, 13, of Wallingford; Layla Hardy, 13, of Lima; Paul Mariani III, 12, of Ardmore; and Essington's Teanna Rico, 13. Another contestant, Emily Chressanthis, 11, of Media, bowed out on her own.
One important note: The tabulations for Delco Idol Junior, and its counterpart on Wednesday nights, are not cumulative from week to week. Each round has its own set of judges who enter the contest with a "clean slate," not knowing what the previous week's scores were. Therefore, contestants enter each week on the same level, sharing the same probability of remaining or being eliminated. (Artistic Director Jesse Cline is the only constant judge throughout the competition).
Interesting fact for Delco Idol Junior 2012: each of the three sets of siblings remain in the competition (The Briglias, The Lennicks, and The Smiths). Each household must be extremely lively this summer, with songs being chosen, rehearsals going on, and friendly sibling rivalry! There has never been a summer with siblings in the finals...will this be the first?
Anything is possible with this year's crowd pleasers!
Visit mediatheatre.org to see who remains in the contest and to vote for your favorite ($2 per vote which supports The Media Theatre's educational programs). The top vote-getters online have points added to the judges' scores, which may move them forward to the next round.