During the second week of July, a record number of contestants came to the Redwood Empire Fair Fine Arts Building to gain the coveted Finalist slots for this year’s Ukiah Idol Competition. The competition is sponsored by the Redwood Empire Fair, KWINE 94.5 and the Ukiah Civic Light Opera.
This year’s finalists will be competing at the Redwood Empire Fair on two separate days. The “Little Idols” who are ages 5-9, and the “Junior Division,” kids ages 10-14, will perform this Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Adult finalists, ages 15 and over, along with the winners of Friday’s competition, will perform this coming Sunday at 2 p.m.
According to Ukiah Idol founder Steve Caravello, this year’s contestants consisted of a mix of brand new performers and a number of repeat contenders, which he says gives excitement to the competition and provides opportunities for everyone to improve their performance.
The program has been sponsored by the Ukiah Civic Light Opera for many years, notes Dawn Senften, who has produced the show since its inception, over 10 years ago. Having the finals during the fair provides a great performance venue for the contestants, many of whom are taking the stage for the first time.
“We had a tremendous applicant turnout,” notes Senften. The auditions took place in front of three judges: Caravello, Matt Senften and two-time Ukiah Idol winner Joey Kroh.
Contestants were expected to perform the song they intend to perform at the fair, but unlike the hard-core critiques synonymous with the “American Idol” television show, the Ukiah Idol judges provided plenty of useful, gentle…
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