Ten contestants took the stage at the Renaissance Coliseum last Friday, as students and a panel of judges crowned a winner of the first-ever Bradley Idol competition. The event was hosted by Activities Council of Bradley University.
The winner of the night was sophomore psychology major Kelly Hicks, who performed Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”
“Just to be able to get up in front and show them what I’ve loved to do for so long is amazing,” Hicks said.
After making it through one round of auditions, these ten students were chosen to compete for the grand prize of $250, with prizes for second and third place as well.
Christopher Marsh, Instructor of Communication, Bradley University Police Department Lieutenant Sean Savage and Cory Craig, Assistant Director of Admissions, served as judges. Their votes in combination with audience picks decided the winner.
After each contestant performed, audience members were urged to use a link located on the ACBU Facebook page to vote.
In second place, rocking a fanny pack on her waist, was junior psychology major Kerri Predovich.
“I’ve just been really blessed that God gave me the gift of singing and I just want to serve other people with that,” Predovich said.
Freshman television arts major Sheridan Hurtig, who finished third, went into the competition with an open mind.
“I honestly did not expect to place at all,” Hurtig said. “It’s kind of a shock and it’s really cool and I’m really happy that I have a lot of people here to support me.”
Abstaining from the ballot, sophomore political science major Pierre Paul decided to use his voice in a different way.
He performed the song “Freedom” by Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar while a slideshow behind him displayed images of gun violence victims, whom he dedicated the performance to.
“My performance was to pay respect for those who lost their lives and allow our Bradley family to know that we aren’t alone in facing tragedies like this, but if we become complacent, the problem will grow worse,” Paul said.
The competition also featured performances by Dan Henig, a singer-songwriter known for his viral YouTube videos. He both sang and emceed in between contestants.
Playing up his YouTube persona of Danny Trolls, Henig performed pieces ranging from Lil Jon’s “Get Low” to his own song about what he thinks happened over at Hogwarts.
“My role is just for people to kind of loosen up and enjoy the moment,” Henig said.
As the event coordinators, Megan DeSmet and Skylar Mitchell spent months planning the event, and said they were satisfied with the way it turned out.
“We hope it will become a tradition. You can always improve on an event, but for this one it was very successful. Hopefully next time there will be more contestants, maybe a couple of rounds and possibly open auditions,” DeSmet said.