Ten finalists are now on their way for a shot at becoming the next Danvers Idol.
Thirty-eight singers performed before a panel of judges in a preliminary round Saturday at Danvers Community Access Television studios. The preliminaries were new to the contest this year, and contest organizers announced the names of the finalists and judges on Sunday evening.
The finalists are:
- Alexandra Valenti of Manchester-by-the-Sea
- Brittany Hill of Milford
- Eben Bein of Somerville
- Greg Knight of Dorchester
- Isaac Willnow of Hamilton
- Jilly Martin of Chelmsford
- Katie Donnelly of Beverly
- Kerrin Mullen of Merrimac
- Olivia Wendel of Lexington
- Philip Pereira of Lynn
They will next perform June 28 (7 p.m.) with a song of their choice before a live audience and the four judges at Danvers High School.
The top three contestants will then perform again that night (with two songs) before a winner is crowned. The audience, which will be able to vote, will actually serve as the fifth judge during the finals and determine the top three singers.
Third prize is $100, second prize is $150 and first prize is $500 plus the opportunity to perform live before a crowd of 25,000 or more at the July 3 fireworks at Plains Park. All prizes also include studio recording time.
This year's judges are Karen Nascembeni, the director of corporate and community relations at North Shore Music Theatre and Theatre by the Sea, Tom Page of Decibel Architects, Jacyn Tremblay of Boston pop and R&B female vocal group Jada, and lastly Erika Van Pelt, a top 10 finalist in Season 11 of American Idol.
Van Pelt, a Rhode Island native, has continued to perform professionally and during intermission on June 28, she will debut a selection from her upcoming CD that will be released this fall.
Page's studio creates and produces original music and licensed music, much of which has featured in television commercials and Tremblay and Jada won the “Outstanding Pop/R&B Music Act of the Year” at the 2008 Boston Music Awards.
"The caliber of participants was top rate, and the judges and producers had a very difficult time deciding the top 10," said Gardner Trask in an announcement. Trask is an organizer of the contest and a board member of the Danvers Family Festival.
Saturday's preliminaries served to kick off the following 19 days of this year's festival around town. The local Idol contest is in its sixth year.
Saturday's show will be broadcast on DCAT after editing and will be available online in the “Video on Demand” section of the DCAT website.
You can also find the schedule of events for the Danvers Family Festival here.