Orcas Idol Saturday Night!

The contestants of Orcas Idol 2009.

In just a few days, the contestants of Orcas Idol will grace the stage of Orcas Center, performing to a full house of eagerly awaiting friends, family, and fans.

So who will be crowned the 2009 Orcas Idol? That will be decided by audience members on Saturday, Feb. 7 when Orcas Idol returns for its fourth season. This event is the primary fundraiser for the Orcas Island Prevention Partnership.

Hosted this year by Anita Orne and Gordon Koenig, the show starts at 6:30 p.m.

The Orcas Idol judges – Terry Anderson, Grace McCune, and Gene Nery – have narrowed down the competitors to a group of eight who sang their hearts out during the auditions at the Grange on Jan. 24. The finalists are Stephan Baker, Yuuko Cunningham, Jason and Ariana Dean, Margie Doyle, Pamela Evans, Susan Weiss, Pamela Wright, and Conrad Wrobel.

“This is a chance to see community members in a different role. That’s the really fun part,” said event organizer Donna Laslo. “And the audience gets to vote – it’s real participation on every level.”

The judges will have their say after each performance, but it’s the audience members who determine which singers will advance to the next round of the competition. There are three rounds of singing, each in different genres of music.

The first round is pop/rock, the second round is jazz/Broadway and the third round is country/folk. Organizers say that by competing in several genres, the singers can highlight their versatility. The audience votes via a secret ballot immediately after each round.

The competition is eventually narrowed down to three finalists who compete for a $200 cash prize donated by Radio Shack and a professional recording session.

Past winners are Jenole Peacock, Jason Kraayeveld, and Locket Goodrich. Goodrich will perform at the upcoming event, as will Idol Junior winner Jess Gudgell and the Idol Junior contestants.

Although tickets are sold out for the theatre seating, there are still tickets available for the Madrona Room at a reduced rate. There will be a live video feed projected onto a large screen with upgraded sound quality from last year.

“The Madrona Room seating is a fun way to see the show, and everyone gets to vote for their favorite Idol contestant,” said Laslo.

Madrona Room tickets will be available at the door for $10.