Teen Idol Finalists Revealed



Photo by Rosy Cervantes
One teenager sang their way to a scholarship.

Bay Area Teen Idol is a singing competition for teenagers 13 to 18 years old who live in Coos County. The eleventh season took place this year, with fifteen competitors participating. Participants auditioned in May and will continue to take part in the program until the end of this year.

According to Stephanie Kilmer, head coordinator of Teen Idol, the program is arranged to help the contestants improve their singing abilities and learn how to deal with real-life experiences.

“The program is designed to give them experience vocally and in life because not everything you do you’re going to be successful at,” Kilmer said. “It teaches them how to cope with failure.”

The competition has seven elimination shows throughout the months of July, August and September. The shows feature songs performed by all of the competitors and each individual singing a solo piece corresponding with the genre of choice for that show. Each show has a panel of judges that total the scores and announce the contestant’s final scores for that round.

According to Karissa Thomas, a junior at North Bend High School, judges take more into account how the contestants perform vocally.

“Just as important as the vocals is the stage presence and they really focus on that,” Thomas said.

Thomas won first place in the competition with fellow contestants Allie West in second, Michelle Adamson in third and Rosa Gutierrez-Camacho in fourth. The first place prize included $2,000 in cash, a scholarship to Southwestern Oregon Community College (SOCC) and various gift certificates to local businesses. Second, third and fourth place contestants all won cash prizes as well.

Kilmer said all the contestants will further take part in the program this year by participating in events previously arranged by the coordinators.


“They will continue throughout the year and will be involved in what we do,” Kilmer said. “This year we’ll be doing performances at Octoberfish out in Charleston and then we’ll do the tree lighting ceremony.”
Members will also sing carols in Coos Bay and North Bend starting in December and will perform at a variety of events, such as singing before basketball games at SOCC and making appearances at the Relay for Life.

According to Isaac Reyna, a freshman contestant at North Bend, Teen Idol is a great experience.

“If you were ever thinking about doing Teen Idol go ahead, just try,” Reyna said. “It’s a great experience and it helps you in front of giant crowds so you get more used to being open.’’