Morgan County Middle school holds singing competition
By Whitney Skeeters
The MCMS chorus hosted their own version of the hit television show “American Idol” to raise money for uniforms, field trips, and other general costs.
In this innovative fundraiser, six students competed to be named the 2008 Morgan County Idol. Contestants performed their version of a popular song and audience members voted by placing a ticket stub in the basket of their favorite performer.
American Idol, which debuted in 2002, has frequently been rated television’s No. 1 show and boasts tens of millions of viewers. It is currently in its eighth season. In the reality show, viewers vote each week to determine who remains in the contest and who eventually wins the title of the next American Idol.
The winner receives a contract with a major recording studio.
Although the Morgan County Idol won a slightly more modest prize, the competition was structured as much like the original show as possible.
Laura Foster, who built the chorus program from scratch two years ago, came up with the idea and orchestrated the contest. The chorus needed a solid fundraising plan and she wanted to do something that would display the students’ talents.
The contest began back in August, when twenty-four students auditioned before a three-panel judge made up of teachers and faculty. The judges narrowed the pool to sixteen.
For the next two weeks, the remaining contestants performed a song of their choice in front of their peers during the lunch period on Fridays.
Each week, the student body was given the opportunity to have a hand in the process and vote on contestants.
The pool was eventually reduced to six finalists made up of two representatives from each grade who would get the chance to perform on finale night.
The student body also decided upon a “wild card” contestant, something the original show has done a couple of times as well. Students chose a contestant who had been voted off initially to return to the stage for a second chance at the title.
In true American Idol fashion, audience members had the chance to see this entire process at the beginning of the show as Foster had prepared a short video made up of clips of each contestant’s performances throughout the competition.
All of the fanfare seemed to give more adrenaline to the contestants, who performed with a surprising amount of confidence on the stage.
Even at the end of the show, when Foster imitated American Idol host, Ryan Seacrest, by drawing out the announcement of the winner, each contestant kept a straight face, never letting nerves get the best of them.
When Foster finally proclaimed the winner to be Alex Malone, a shower of balloons rained upon the stage and friends and family rushed to hug and congratulate the newest Idol.
The surprised Malone wept tears of joy as she thanked everyone around her.
“It has been fun,” Malone said. “But very nerve-racking.”
Malone received a cash prize of $50, a personalized Starbucks travel mug, and the title of the first ever Morgan County Idol. Each finalist received Starbucks gift certificates.