Last Friday, I sacrificed my usual Friday night ritual of staying at home and reading (which, believe it or not, I do by choice) and joined the throng of students funneling into the Stoddard Activities Center for Southern Virginia’s edition of the cult classic, “American Idol” – very cleverly dubbed “SVU Idol.”
The annual talent competition was hosted by a pair of charming MC’s, Ryan Logan and Christian Tarin, both of whom were fantastically charismatic that they occasionally stole the show. They were particularly good at involving the audience, whether by setting up two random people on a date or asking for awkward first date stories, the combination of which seems comically coincidental, in hindsight.
Eleven contestants (some in pairs) performed on Friday, including my delightfully spunky housemate, Deseret Brown, alongside her partner, Daphne Riddle, so naturally they were my favorite. Nonetheless, I was generally impressed by the performances and did not at all envy the judges the task of choosing six contestants to eliminate.
Difficult task aside, the judges were one of the greatest elements of both nights. Partially because of Dr. Scott Dransfield’s introduction (“I used to be a rock star. Now, I’m an English professor.”) and partially because of their absolute inability to say anything that wasn’t entirely funny and in character. One of the charms of Southern Virginia is the opportunity to get to know your professors quite closely, and that familiarity made their comments all the more enjoyable. Also, who knew Professor Reynolds is the queen of jokes? “What did the green grape say to the purple grape?” Come on, that’s a classic.
It was the second night, however, that proved the most intensely entertaining. It began with a group number, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” sung by every competitor, including those who had been eliminated the night before. It was a great way to get audience member, judge, and singer alike back into the groove of things. The audience was allowed, for the first time, to vote an eliminated act back on, adding Deseret and Daphne to the five acts we were able to enjoy. From Sara Bareilles’s “Love Song” to a number from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, the night was full of diverse numbers.
In the end, Brennan Alford, Wyatt Karnes, and the “Sparkly Girls,” a.k.a. Clairanne Moncur and Abby Akins, were chosen as the top three competitors, and “The Sparkly Girls” ended up going home with first place.
I — and loads of others, considering almost every seat was filled each night — found SVU Idol quite entertaining. What, with a stunning rendition of “What Does the Fox Say?” while the judges conspired, over a dozen performances by talented students, charming MC’s, and always hilarious judges, there was really no way to leave this event without having had a great time.
(Post by Madeleine Rex ’16. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)