In EVVY’s vocal competition, 10 contestants remain in the running

by Xakota Espinoza / Beacon Staff • January 26, 2011

Who do you want to hear sing at the EVVY awards?

Students can begin virtually stuffing ballot boxes today to select their favorite student vocalist.

Executive Producer of the EVVY awards, Pat Lambert has decided to alter this year’s program from those in the past where students competed for best original song. This year, finalists will instead be performing cover-songs in attempt to win the newly established award of best vocal performance.

Lambert said the process, which began last fall, will end with the final three out of the current ten students performing songs at the EVVY awards this coming May. During the show, audience members from within the crowd and at home will vote to determine who the top vocal performer is.

“Around 200 people came to the full EVVYs casting in October, which includes hosts, actors, presenters and vocal performers,” said the junior communication studies major. “After a few rounds of callbacks, we narrowed the number of vocal performers down to ten.”

The ten contestants were then filmed doing an acoustic version of the song they chose to perform, and a brief interview. Starting Wednesday, the videos, along with background information and fun facts about each contestant, were displayed on the EVVY awards website, where students will be able to vote for their favorite contestant.

After a three week long voting process, three students will be selected to compete at the EVVY awards on May 14.

Lambert said 25 percent of the decision belongs to the students, while he other 75 percent will be decided by Emerson alumnus and performer Eric Hutchinson,  director of vocal performance at Berklee School of Music, Don Grossinger, and record producer Renee Grant-Williams, who is also a judge for the Grammy Awards.

“Each student can vote for a contestant once a day,” said Lambert. “This won’t establish a clear-cut winner, but the public vote has the ability to give one or two people the edge needed to get into the top three.”

“It will be exciting to see who ends up getting to perform, everybody is really talented,” said junior theater studies major and contestant Claire Kaiser.

The other nine contestants competing for the spotlight are seniors Brittany Perro and Megan Downey, both communications studies majors, freshman acting major Paige Newman, sophomores Lauren Chapman and Mariah MacFarlane, both musical theater majors, junior broadcast journalism major Steve Selnick, and the senior singing duo of Justin Messina, film production major, and Jackie Lariviere, writing, literature and publishing major.

Kaiser said voters can vote for multiple contestants every day, with the process ending on Feb. 16.