The expansive stage boasted a single microphone and a blue-lit table sporting four chairs, sans Simon Cowell. Enter a slightly kinder panel of judges and 10 teenage finalists.
On Saturday, the fourth annual Davis Idol Final Competition was held at the Brunelle Performing Arts Theatre at Davis Senior High School (DHS). This sold-out show was the last of three nights of competition; the finalists were chosen from two competitions held Jan. 23 and 24.
With his performance of “Try a Little Tenderness,” Cody Craven, a Da Vinci High School senior, became the Davis Idol of 2009.
“[It was an] out of body experience,” Craven said. “I was on cloud nine.“
After he was announced as the winner, Craven performed “My Wish” with the DHS Advanced Treble Choir, the organizers of the Idol competition. The competition is an annual fundraiser for ATC.
Karen Gardias, choir director at DHS said she thought Craven stuck-out as the winner.
At the age of 10, Craven began musical theater with the Davis Musical Theatre Company. He explained that his parents hoped to channel his energy in the classroom to theater. He participated in Fiddler on the Roof at 14. In high school, he performed in numerous musicals, including Les Miserables as Jean Valjean, and also sang with the DHS Jazz Choir.
“Davis High is really great with music and performing arts,” he said.
After graduation, he plans to attend one of the conservatories that he has applied to or move to San Francisco or Los Angeles to try his luck as a “starving artist.“
The judges awarded Craven a $200 prize for Davis Idol, and the audience voted for the People’s Choice Award, a new title this year. The People’s Choice Award and a $50 prize went to Corryn Deegan, a DHS senior and also Craven’s girlfriend.
“I wanted [Craven] to win so badly and me winning People’s Choice was icing on the cake,” Deegan said.
Clad in jeans, her long hair falling loosely over her shoulders, Deegan sang “What’s Up,” originally performed by 4 Non Blondes, on Saturday.
“I thought [Deegan] did really well,” Gardias said.
Like Craven, Deegan participated in theater throughout high school, and the couple met at Davis Musical Theatre Company in 8th grade. They have been dating for two months. Deegan has trained with several voice teachers, and is also a member of the DHS Madrigal Singers.
“[I’ve been] singing since it was physically possible for me to,” she said, recalling singing with her family as a child.
She plans to continue singing next year when she attends San Francisco State University as a music minor.
Saturday’s show provided about $2,500 in profits, and over the course of the three Idol shows ATC made about $7,500, according to Gardias.
These funds support ATC’s upcoming trip to Southern California to train with voice professionals and perform in Disneyland, as well as raise money for their participation in the Golden State Choral Competition in late February.
Gardias said it was fun to see all the kids develop during this competition and intends to hold the competition again next year.
SARA JOHNSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.