News-Sun photo by KATARA SIMMONS Peyton Anderson, 10, sings ÔGrenade' on Thursday evening during Heartland Idol. Anderson advanced to the next round after a new rule called ÔJudges Save,' was invoked.
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published: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Qualifiers wrap up; full roster awaits Jr., Teen Idol semi-finals
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING - Six more aspiring singers were added to the Heartland Idol semi-finalists roster at the end of the second round qualifiers Thursday night at the Highlands County YMCA.
Though 10-year-old Peyton Anderson was complimented about his efforts to continue to perform during the show's technical difficulties, after two less-than-enthusiastic filled performances the young singer was not initially chosen to move ahead in the competition.
As the junior and teen Idol qualifying rounds wrapped up Thursday night, judges evoked their first "judges save".
Veteran judges Vickie Watson and Larry Moore decided Anderson might have a little something in him that makes the judges want to see more. Anderson had shown judges only a tiny portion of what they think he can truly bring to the stage.
"Do you watch music videos Peyton," asked Moore.
He quietly replied yes.
"When you see Bruno Mars perform this song he tells a story. You have to tell a story when you sing," Moore stated after singing an emotional filled brief snippet of Anderson's chosen song "Grenade".
Watson agreed with Moore and added a little more advice to the young, timid singer.
"I think that when you choose a grown-up song like that, you don't really understand the emotion behind it, so you're just singing words. So I'd advise you to look at videos as Larry said. If you're going to pick a 'grown-up' song we need to see a lot more stage presence out of you when you come back," Watson said.
Along with a saved Anderson, round one returning singers are Caitlin Sinness, who belted out an impressive version of Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel", and Shayla Cox's performance of "Pony" gained them both tickets to next week's semi-finals. Bella Marrero, 8, of Sebring, also took her space at the junior semi-finals coming up this week with her performance of "Lean on Me."
The already competitive Teen Idol division got a little more difficult for judges when two more young ladies were added to the already full teen division roster.
Kiana Vassell, 15, of Avon Park, performed a very short but well-liked version of the trendy billboard hit "Thrift Shop."
"I like you," said celebrity judge Tommy Brandt. "I saw you sing through your eyes and that is great. You have a great bubbly personality; you should watch your enunciation when you sing though. You need to enunciate your words a little better, but other than that you got it going on."
Vassell admitted her nerves got the best of her, which lead to her unusually short performance, but judges heard just enough to encourage her to return this week.
"I like how you saved your bravado for the very last moment. I wanted to hear more than 10 seconds but I thought it was nice," said judge Dustin Woods.
Returning from last week, 14-year-old Sydni Hornick got the go ahead for semi-finals. The toned downed performance of Rascal Flatts' "I Won't Let Go" was just what the judges had hoped to hear.
"I can't believe how much you've grown up," Watson said. "You never let me down. You have a beautiful voice, but you seemed more nervous than normal and I think that is because of what happened last week. You can sing, you know that. Let last week go and concentrate on performing now," Watson said.
The six round two junior and teen qualifiers will join the already 11 singers Thursday to battle it out during the Teen Idol and Junior Idol semi-finals. Show starts at 6 p.m. at the YMCA.
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