Indy Idol first round complete
Independence had seen its first round of contestants for their 1st Indy Idol Contest. Independence Elementary School Cafeteria was transformed into a Hollywood Stage. Eight contestants from Independence, Loranger, Amite and Ponchatoula participated in the First Annual Indy Idol Competition.
"We are are very amazed that all eight contestants that competed in this event moved onto the First Round of elimination on March 13th,” stated organizer Rhonda Crocker, President of The Independence Chamber of Commerce. “We really were surprised that we did not have really bad singers like you would see on American Idol. I was sure that we would have people that thought they could sing, get up on stage and just scare us all."
The Indy Idol judges were celebrities in their own right, Ponchatoula resident Marguerite Perrin of “Trading Spouses”, Independence's very own Mayor, Micheal Ragusa, Independence's own home town super star and Nashville finalist, Brooke Liuzza and Aaron R. Sutton, Marketing Consultant Citadel Broadcasting in Baton Rouge and also the owner of Coast to Coast Production that manges several artist in the Louisiana area. The guest judges offered encouragement along with their criticism to the contestants and all of the judges came in not thinking that Tangipahoa Parish had so much talent.
The Indy Idol Emcee was Terry Basso of Independence. The opening singers for Indy Idol was 10-year-old Chloe O'Neil from Covington. Chloe wowed the audience and woke everyone up with "No One" by Alicia Keys. Next to entertain while contestants were getting ready was Independence's very talented Brooke Liuzza. Followed by Brooke was 11-year-old Rebecca Case of Independence who sang "Jesus Take The Wheel" by Carrie Underwood. Brooke and Chloe closed the afternoon out with more songs that rocked the audience.
The Independence Sicilian Festival Queen, Lindsey Prima spoke to the crowd and invited all to visit the festival March 13 through the 15th.
Two contestants dropped from the first round of competition. The six finalists who will compete on opening night at The First Annual Independence Sicilian Heritage Festival on March 13th are Jason Baglio of Ponchatoula, Lacey Lynn Miller of Independence, Kirhsten Strickland of Independence, Julia Lee Smith of Loranger, Kristina Temple of Amite and Krystal Breaux of Loranger.
Four Finalist will be chosen to perform on Saturday and also ride in The ISHF Parade. A winner will be announced Saturday and will return to sing on the main stage Saturday night.
The Indy Idol 2009 winner will arrive by limo to perform on stage Sunday at the Festival. The winner will receive a $1,000 music Scholarship, Photography session by Essence Photography, Gift Certificates from Heavenly Gifts and a Diamond Fleur de Lis necklace from Guzzardo Jewelers. The runner up will receive $100.
Comments from the audience stated that they will be back next year to either watch or compete and look forward to the festival weekend to see who will be the First Indy Idol winner.
Sponsors for the Indy Idol Contest are: The Town of Independence, Independence Sicilian Heritage Festival, Independence Fire Department, Independence Police Department, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriffs Office, Acadian Ambulance, Bar B Que Station, Lisa's Drive In, DoRan Sea-Pak, Waterbury, Gourmet Soul, Guzzardo Jewelers, Essence Photography, Bradken, Piggly Wiggly-Independence, El Pariente, Sherre Hookfin, Carolyn Roman, McKneely & Vaughn Funeral Home, Aria Records Nashville, Heavenly Gifts, Especially For You, Totally U Salon, Action Industrial, Angie's Bar & Grill, Pete's Pharmacy, La Von's Flowers & Gifts, Dunn Printing.
The Independence Chamber of Commerce wishes to extend a huge Thank You to all of the Staff that worked the Idol Competition, the contestants and also the audience.