The Media Theatre held auditions for the 2012 "Delco Idol" contests on May 21 and 23. More than 150 singers participated, and now the theatre has chosen this year's contestants.
"The contests are the perfect combination of our mission of music theatre and education," said Artistic Director Jesse Cline, who chooses the contestants each year. "In the "Jr." version, we see young people who are developing an interest in the performing arts. In the regular "Idol" we see a more mature age group who are perhaps already studying and learning their craft in some way or another."
Past "Delco Idol" winners and contestants have gone on to appear in The Media Theatre's Broadway Series productions such as Jack Raymond, who recently portrayed Moritz in "Spring Awakening", and Lauren Cupples appeared in that production and worked alongside Emmy winner Wanda Sykes in "Annie" in 2010. JP Dunphy, a former top five "Delco Idol" contestant, had roles in both of those productions and will appear as Jinx in The Media Theatre's "Forever Plaid" this summer (July 18-22) near Avalon, NJ, at the Middletown Township Performing Arts Center.
After taking a singer's ability, personality, and song choice into consideration, artistic director Jesse Cline made the final decision as to who will be in the "Delco Idol" and "Delco Idol Junior" competitions for summer 2012. He will be the one constant judge throughout the five weeks of each contest, with a rotating panel of guest judges each week. FOX-TV's Sue Serio returns as the "Delco Idol" emcee for the third summer.
The final list of contestants for "Delco Idol" and "Delco Idol Junior" is available online at www.mediatheatre.org, where voting is now live in order to support your favorite contestant. Each $2 vote supports The Media Theatre and may allow a contestant to remain in the competition. The top three online vote-getters each week receive extra points added to the judge's tally.
The list does contain vocalists who reside in Chester and Philadelphia Counties, as well as Wilmington, DE. The main criteria is that contestants live within a 55-mile radius of The Media Theatre to participate in "Delco Idol".
The 2012 "Delco Idol" Contestants are: Rebecca Alexander, 19, and Jason Armstrong, 18, both of Newtown Square; Brittany Marie Arnao, 21, of Folsom; Jessica Bernard, 18, Philadelphia; and returning for the third summer is Ridley Park's Kyleigh Bleacher.
Media is represented by six contestants including Samantha Bream, 15; Danielle Brown, 19, Christopher Infantino, 16; Sarah Mills, 15; and siblings Christian and Olivia Stallings, 16 and 14 respectively.
The list of competitors continues with Wilmington, DE, being represented by Kasey Brown, 15; Stephanie Brown, 19, and Ray Crozier, 16, both of Garnet Valley; and Boothwyn's 15 year old Rhiannon Charney. Also making the list are Springfield's 14 year old Stacy DiCandilo and 15 year old singer Ben Iffrig, as well as Jackie Rooney, 14, and Cara Toland, 17.
Broomall's Kelly Downs, 14, will perform for audiences, as well as Savannah Dysard, 16, of Glen Mills. West Chester is represented by Caroline Fresh, 17. The list also includes Rosaleen Gallagher, 20, of Secane; Molly Jo Gifford, 15, Folsom; Carly Graziadei, 19, Royersford; Carly Katz, 17, Broomall; Barbara Kaufmann, 19, Drexel Hill; Breyanna Lewis, 14, Clifton Heights; Emily Luther, 15, Malvern; and Keith Lutz, a Manayunk resident who performs in the subway system with his guitar.
The "Delco Idol" list continues with Rutledge's Madison Martin, 15; Maria Maslin, 18, of Broomall; and Lansdowne's Anna Phillips, 16. Sofia Ryan, 15, of Havertown and Jenna Sharples, 15, of Berwyn both will appear, as well as Kylie Teller, 17, of Wallingford and Cara Turner, 16, of Clifton Heights. The age limit for "Delco Idol" is 14-24, and this year's 'most mature' performers are two 23 year olds: Gabriel Davila of Darby and Anna Sunnergren of Exton.
The "Junior" competition includes singers between the ages of 7 to 13. This year's list was expanded to 46 to allow the crowded field of performers the opportunity to sing for at least one week in front of a large audience at The Media Theatre. "It's an educational opportunity for them," said Cline. "At that age, it's very difficult to choose the 'best' singer or who is most connected to the material. It's part of our mission to educate, and so we want to give as many of the younger ones the chance to perform."