A popular singing contest to find out who has the best set of pipes in Bradford West Gwillimbury is back, and you can help pick the winner this week.
The second annual Village Inn Idol will host its last two competitions on the same night — this Thursday, June 27 at 8 p.m. — at the downtown bar, with the winner taking home a big-screen TV, prizes from local businesses, and bragging rights.
“I want to showcase the talent we have in Bradford and the surrounding areas,” including Newmarket and Barrie, said Jackie Kozak, who owns Scaraoke Entertainment and organizes the Idol competition.
She said the contest — with 45 people last year, and 14 this year — Village Inn Idol has become known as the “fairest and biggest (singing competition) in Simcoe and York Region.”
As well, last year there were audiences of 150 to 200 people, she said.
Originally, 25 people signed up this year, but several dropped out because they could not commit to being at every single night of Idol competition, Kozak said.
Plus, this year she made changes — the big one being each participant has to sing songs from different genres each week, rather than always picking their own.
So far, the competitors have sang rock, country, and Top 40 pop. This coming Thursday, they get to choose their own songs.
From the 14 singers, the three judges will select the Top 7, with help from audience ballots.
Once those are selected, the contest will move right into its final section — the seven singers will perform for the top prize.
The Top 3 singers will each get Visa gift cards of varying amounts from $100 to $300, prizes from local businesses, and framed certificates. Only the winner will get a big-screen TV.
But just the three judges will select the top singers.
Music producer and singer Danny Panetta is a returning judge, who is known as the “Simon Cowell judge of the group,” Kozak said.
“He’s tougher. I want him to be hard on the singers” and look for skillful techniques such as vibrato, she said.
Jaclyn De Melo, a real-estate agent, is another judge. Her daughters are in the music industry, so she understands what record companies are looking for, said Kozak.
“She has an ear for sound,” she said.
Last year’s second-place winner, Essie Avila, rounds out the judging panel.
Kozak said she is already planning the next Village Inn Idol for next February or March, so anyone who misses this round can catch the next one. But she urges everyone to come out this Thursday to see some amazing performers.
“It’s a great opportunity to discover these hidden gems,” Kozak said. “(The talent is) jaw-dropping. You’re going to be blown away.”