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Vocalists compete to be named Irish Idol

Grace Myers | Monday, April 3, 2006

Legends was packed with people excited to see their friends perform, to hear the judges responses, to see who would make it to the final three Thursday in the fourth annual Irish Idol.

The show began with clips from the Irish Idol audition, showcasing several of the 55 Notre Dame, St. Mary’s and Holy Cross students who tried out. Only 10 contestants were chosen from this large pool. The top 10 all received a prize of 25 dollars while the top three received more cash prizes.

The show began with an opening performance by the Wookies, a group of Glee Club members who sang, “That’s What Friends are For” and “It’s Alright” after an introduction by emcees Molly Butler and James Weber.

They then introduced the judges Mat Barcus, Joe Varchetto and Paula Kim and followed this by introducing all of the contestants.

“Judging Irish idol allowed me to hear some of the best singers on campus and just for that fact it was well worth the time,” Varchetto said.

The 10 performers put on a wonderful show. Songs varied, from Ashley Cook’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” to Leslie Penko’s “Foolish Dreams,” and Tiara Torres’ a cappella version of “Contigo en la Distancia”.

“Forget butterflies. There were several bats in my stomach, with large spiked heels jumping around,” contestant Molly Dawes said. “But everyone, especially the contestants were so supportive. I have never seen so much talent in one room.”

The performances were judged on vocal performance, stage presence and personality. Positive comments abounded when the judges spoke. In fact, there was not a trace of any Simon-like remark. It was obviously a difficult decision to choose three of these contestants to move onto the next round.

The audience was greatly involved, with sections of the crowd wearing matching t-shirts supporting one contestant, with some even holding signs such as “Go Cat!” and “Marry Me Molly!” A few contestants even had family members in the crowd for support.

The three contestants whom the judges chose to move onto the next round were John Fister, Tiara Torres and Mallory Jane O’Brien.

During the final round, the audience voted for the contestant it wanted to win. Their performances were impressive as Fister sang “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me”, O’Brien performed a modern, Mariah Carey-like version of “Danny Boy” and Torres sang “To the Moon and Back”.

While the votes were being counted, judges Varchetto and Barcus performed a musical intermission, giving renditions of two Ben Folds songs. Torres won third place as O’Brien was named Irish Idol 2006.

The judges and emcees were chosen by show directors Elaine Toutant, Sheena Plamoottil and acting judge Paula Kim.