By Adam Taxin
Published Thursday, July 21
The seventh edition of Delco Idol continued last night, with the third of its five shows. As anyone familiar the way American Idol and its offshoots work, a portion of the contestant pool was not invited back for the subsequent show. In this case, five of the 35 contestants will not be appearing on stage next Wednesday, July 27 at the Media Theatre in central Delaware County.
As with each week, Sue Serio, weather anchor on Fox29’s Good Day Philadelphia, emceed the show. Her husband, veteran sports anchor Bill Vargus, was among the seven judges on the panel. The reasonably full audience included Philadelphia-area actor Michael Hagan, who recently performed to much acclaim in Quince Productions’ (excellent and certainly-much-better-than-the-movie-version) staging of Educating Rita.
The five contestants who failed to advance each performed at levels which would make most parents proud and most audience members jealous. The year-to-year rise in the overall talent level of Delco Idol suggests that, in previous years, all of thse five would have advanced beyond three rounds.
Emma Elliott (14, Wynnewood), the first of the five who did not advance to go on stage, solidly performed Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts.” Her performance followed a drawing-audience-laughter remark by Serio suggesting that the song’s title, if not listened to carefully, could suggest a gastrointestinal connotation.
Michael Mann (14, Aston) did not advance despite drawing significant enthusiasm from the crowd for his performance of Journey’s “Who’s Crying Now.” This reviewer was relieved after finding out that the one Journey song on the program would be that one rather than the played-out “Don’t Stop Believin’” (also from the album Escape).
A soulful rendition by PJ Syfrit (23, Glen Mills) of Brian McKnight’s “Back To One” was apparently not enough for the panel of judges.
Ray Crozier (15, Garnet Valley) performed “Electricity” from Billy Elliott, a show which will be on stage at Center City Philadelphia’s Academy of Music from November 16-27. Perhaps it is heretical to say so, but Philadelphia Jewish Culture Examiner, who has never seen the show, is not particularly impressed by the song as written. Crozier might have benefited by performing a song whose electricity is not confined to its title.
Natalie Walden (15, West Chester), the last of the eventually-eliminated five to perform, sounded great and was charming and sweet in her performance of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” from Evita. The problem for judges, in some ways similar to one with Kathryn Brown’s performance of “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay” last week, may have been that Walden’s pleasant persona suggested Laura Bush a lot more than it did the megalomaniacal Eva Peron.
Some technical difficulties occurred at the beginning of the show. The first performer of the night, Christopher Infantino (15, Media), began his performance of “One Song Glory” from Rent, without the benefit of a working microphone. The microphone was quickly fixed, Infantino started over (only to continue having problems with the microphone throughout his performance), the Media Theatre technical crew resolved the situation, the show proceeded smoothly starting with the subsequent performer … and, in spite of those obstacles, Infantino was among the contestants invited to return,
A more detailed commentary by Philadelphia Jewish Culture Examiner on last week’s show will follow, as will at least one guest commentary.
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Philadelphia Jewish Culture Examiner, Adam Taxin, is less than impressed by the current financial condition of the United States. A fool if he were not to always look to enhance his income, Taxin is available to perform work as an attorney, writer, tutor and/or public-relations maven.
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