GBSS Idol continued on March 28 with the second round of competition. The top 15, who had advanced from the first round, all performed in front of an enthusiastic audience. After the show, the audience voted on who would advance to the top 10, and the results were announced last Tuesday.
Once again, the night was a flurry of musical talent, demonstrating the immense capabilities of many of the area’s youth. After the night was over, there was no clear front runner, no clear losers, and no clear decision on who were the best acts.
The host of the show, music teacher Patrick Delaney, began the night by recapping the first round of competition. Considering that the night’s attendance was around 230 – approximately 70 more than the previous show – this was well appreciated.
The night began in a rather somber way. The planned opening act, the Grade 10 band Second Aid, one of the favourite acts from Round One, faced a frustrating obstacle: sickness. Lead singer Abby Woodhouse was unable to sing due to illness, causing her to be practically voiceless. Since they were kept on the ballot, the circumstances were able to turn around for them as the voters advanced the group, offering them a chance at redemption for the next round.
Sara Harvey graced the stage three times throughout the first act. As a soloist she sang the Sandi Thom song “I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair)”, with ease and precision. Harvey began the song a cappella, chanting the lyrics with a sound quality that few can achieve. As the song progressed, percussionists and assorted background assistants flooded on to the stage to end the song with energy.
Harvey soon returned with Greg Smith for their duo. They performed “Hit the Road Jack”, creating a stunning, haunting moment that the audience loved. Smith returned in Act 2 in a solo capacity, to perform “Graceland”. Once again, he impressed the crowd with his voice, and his exciting use of the banjo. Harvey, Smith, and their duet were all voted through to the Top 10.
Act 1 also featured another strong duet in Syd & Eryn, who opted for an acoustic style – just them and their guitars – with “Everybody Talks”. Without the band and the flashier atmosphere, their voices shone through, and led them to being advanced.
Jocelyn Smith’s performance of “Gravity” in Act 2 also impressed the audience. She gave a beautiful vocal performance, manoeuvring from powerful highs to delicate lows throughout the song.
Nick Hallman followed her, performing the unique song, “Walt Grace’s Submarine Test” by John Mayer. He showed strong vocal abilities, and impressed many along the way.
“I think this round went incredibly well,” said Hallman assessing the competition. “From the dedication of the performers to the amount of work done by accompanists it has been a noticeable step up and the work has certainly paid off.”
For both Jocelyn Smith, and Nick Hallman, their hard work resulted in being advanced.
The same result came to Sean Cop, another soloist who gave an impressive performance on both vocals and guitar to “All Apologies”. For this round, he was joined by Caleb Thompson, another singer and guitarist, indicative of what the participants are doing to step up their act.
Once again in the penultimate position, the duo of Kailum and Jo were this time joined by Jocelyn Smith, who had in years past been in a band with the duo. They performed a beautiful rendition of “The Gambler”, which led to them also being advanced.
The final performer of the evening, Grade 10 singer Julie-Anne Sheridan sang Carrie Underwood’s hit “Before He Cheats” full of energy and excitement. The country-style performance was a fun way to end the show, and sent her to the next round.
One other thing that came of the evening was an added donation to the originally $500 winning prize, by the mother of a former competitor. Following the intermission, Delaney brought her onto the stage to briefly discuss what the competition had meant to her.
The non-advanced competitors also deserve credit, as they all performed well. The bands “C.U.P.S.”, “Outliers”, “The Ted Brownlow Band”, “Just Synesthesia”, and soloist Gillian Hallman all found themselves on the wrong side of the ultra-close voting, but will surely all continue to impress audiences in the future.
The Top 10 will compete on Friday, April 25th in the GBSS cafeteria beginning at 7 p.m. and are as follows:
Kailum & Jo
Sara & Unnamed Ukulele (Sara Harvey)
Syd & Eryn
Greg & Sara