Concessions featured Avanti's Gondolas, chips, and drinks for $4. Caffé Italia and the HCC Alumni Association Board provided vVarious baked goods for sale. The preshow, which began at 6:00 p.m. included Toocan, a local band featuring Heartland's own Anjanel Folkens and bandmates playing tropical style, fun music for the whole family. Katie Campos who won last year’s Critics' Choice returned to the Heartland Idol stage to perform
Shinedown's "Simple Man."
“It was an entertaining night, probably the best in the five years of the event”, according to judge Penny Wilson of Community Players Theater and a Coldwell Banker Realtor. She has been a judge for the past three years.
The competition featured 11 performers competing in an American Idol-style format. Corrinne Mae was named “Critics’ Choice” award, earning the title from a panel of local judges. Leah Marelene was named “Crowd Favorite," as determined by audience members voting with their dollars. In all, the raised $3,400 toward the Alumni Scholarship Fund. In 2013, Idol raised $2,500. Tickets to attend the performance were $5 in advance and $7 at the door.
This year's contest included two duets and other performers singing music from a wide variety of genres. Those included pop, country, and even a theatrical song from a Disney movie. Singers covered songs from Taylor Swift, Michael Bublé, Paramour, and One Direction. A “Comeback Contestant,” Illinois State University student Rachel Tatar performed a scaled down version of Katy Perry’s "Roar" accompanied by acoustic guitar. Tatar won a run-off contest on the Heartland Alumni Facebook page in which her video received the most “likes” during a week-long voting period in April.
Singers weren't the only ones competing for prizes.
The event will also featured raffles for attendees -- including a chance to win two, VIP tickets to the Tim McGraw concert, Sept. 12 at the Corn Crib. Van Rash of Bloomington snagged that prize. Lauren Lindsey of Normal won the prize package of 20 seats in the HCC exclusive suite at the field to watch the Cornbelters July 19 baseball game. Jamie Zeller of Hudson’s raffle ticket was chosen for the “Best Seat in the House” drawing which included a $300 voucher from Rooms Direct-Beds Direct plus upgraded, front row seat for the Idol show.
Both winners, Corrinne Mae and Leah Marlene received two hours of professional studio recording time, coaching and production from Start Music Productions. Each winning singer also enjoyed a prize package courtesy of Uptown Normal, a floral bouquet from Casey's Garden Shop, and a framed certificate noting their accomplishments. Mae will also sing the national anthem at Heartland Night at the Corn Crib August 1.
Did you miss the event? Don't worry you can catch videos of each performance on Heartland’s Youtube page.