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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Chautauqua Idol Kicks Off


Five Contestants Move On After Opening Night

By Nicholas Dean,
POSTED: July 8, 2008


A large group of spectators, including many who made the trip to Bemus Point aboard the Chautauqua Belle, watch Chautauqua Lake Idol on the Floating Stage in Bemus Point on Monday night.
P-J photo by Nicholas Dean

BEMUS POINT - Chautauqua Lake Idol's 2008 season started strong Monday night as 10 soulful singers sang their hearts out for a packed crowd in Bemus Point.

As the first of two preliminary rounds, only five of Monday night's performers were selected to continue on in the regional vocal competition - Julie Haight, Billy Thomas, Karen Buck, Brian Chase and Kenny Fabritius.


Next Monday, a second set of 10 contestants will compete in the event's second preliminary round - with the five best singers joining last night's winners on July 21 for the WJTN and WKSN Oldies Night.


''It felt great,'' Chase said of performing on the Floating Stage. ''I'm just really happy. I was a little surprised because I do this a lot, playing music and singing, but I was a little nervous up there. The competition made me nervous.''


Praising Chase after his performance, judges Tim Edborg and Mike Quimby told the singer that they expect big things from him - adding that they think he has a little bit more to give and that they are anticipating future performances.


''I'm looking for somebody to blow me away,'' Quimby said of his ideal Idol. ''They've got to have the confidence, first of all. If you don't have the confidence, I don't care how good you are. You've got to give it all that you've got.''


Similarly, judge LouAnn Dobmeier said she is expecting big things from this year's performers, and explained that, as always, the audience is a big factor in gauging a quality contestant.


''I really want the performers to get the audience involved,'' Dobmeier said. ''They can hear what's good and they want to see more of a performer. They really have high expectations. Whoever can get that audience riled up, that's important. It's important for a singer to sell it and bring it on. The person that will go a long way in this competition is the one that picks the right songs for them and for the audience.''


Chautauqua Lake Idol is organized each year by WWSE 93.3 FM, a Media One Group radio station.


Now in its fifth year, the 2008 Chautauqua Lake Idol Regional Vocal Competition will consist of six shows total. After next Monday's preliminary event, there will be three theme nights and a finals night.


Echoing Chase's comments about performing, contestant Karen Buck described performing on the Floating Stage as amazing.

''There's nothing quite like it,'' she said.


For more on the contestants or the coming weeks' theme rounds, visit Questions can also be directed to WWSE 93.3 FM by calling 487-1151.


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