Marrissanne Lewis-Thompson sings “Rolling in the Deep” on Feb. 15, 2013, at the Missouri Theatre. Lewis-Thompson won the 2013 Mizzou Idol competition.

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Mizzou Idol returns for fifth year

The “American Idol”-esque singing competition celebrates student talent.


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Some might consider the cancellation date of national singing competition “American Idol” overdue, but Mizzou Idol is in its prime.

On Saturday, 14 students will take the stage at the Missouri Theatre and battle it out in hopes of being named the fifth annual Mizzou Idol winner.

The event begins at 7 p.m., with the doors opening at 6 p.m. Admission is free with a ticket, which can be picked up at the MSA/GPC Box Office.

Amy Schmidt, senior chairwoman of the College Music Committee in the Department of Student Activities, hopes the event will attract a sellout crowd.

“Last year was our first year selling out at the Missouri Theatre,” Schmidt says. “It has a capacity of 1,300, so it’s a totally big event. This is in its fifth year, so we’re hoping it will get bigger and we can move it to somewhere like Jesse Auditorium.”

Schmidt says more than 100 people tried out for Mizzou Idol in November. The committee then invited a group of 60 students to perform at a callback, and within a week, it selected a final group of 14 to perform at the Missouri Theatre.

In Saturday’s competition, nine contestants will be guaranteed a spot in the semifinals. The remaining five will perform in a wild card round, and judges will select two contestants to continue on in the competition with the nine other semifinalists.

Last year’s winner, Marissanne Lewis-Thompson, and three other judges will judge the competition. Mizzou Idol will also incorporate a fan vote, in which audience members can text in a vote for their favorite performer. This is the second year the event will be live streamed over the Internet.

Freshman contestant Kai Manning has been preparing for her Mizzou Idol performance since before she came to MU.

“I heard about (Mizzou Idol) last year when I was a senior in high school,” Manning says. “I read about it online when I was deciding if I wanted to come here, and then we got the fall activities calendar. I saw the audition date, and I went and auditioned and got a callback, and eventually made the show.”

Other contestants, like sophomore Jessi Laday, found out about Mizzou Idol at the last minute before deciding to audition.

“I actually have a good friend who is on the (board that plans Mizzou Idol), and he knew that I did theater and sang, so he made me do it,” she says.

Regardless of the outcome, Manning and Laday are more excited than nervous for their performances.

“Sometimes I’ll just be anxious and jittery and just want to hurry up and get up on stage, but I’m really happy and I’m excited,” Manning says. “You never really know what’s going on in the audience when you’re performing because you’re just having fun.”

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