The summer season is officially under way in Bemus Point as SE93 Chautauqua Lake Idol kicked-off its ninth summer of competition at the Floating Stage.
Ten singers took the stage to perform their favorite "Crooner Song" in front of hundreds of people.
The night started with last year's winner Samantha DeJesus performing the Star Spangled Banner. When talking with Andrew Hill, Chautauqua Lake Idol's host, she credited her experience with the program last summer as giving her more confidence in her singing when she auditioned for The Voice reality TV show in March and recently American Idol.
Chautauqua Lake Idol host Andrew Hill is pictured opening the ninth annual Chautauqua Lake Idol.
Photo by Jon Elder
After DeJesus officially began the program this year's competitors took to the stage. Krystal Sipp, Marquida Hughes, Jordan Ferraro, April Goot, Ben Swanson, Adam Hughes, Alyson Borowczyk, Karen Buck, Bethany Hall and Kristen Vanstrom each performed classics from artists such as Nat King Cole, Louis Jordan and Frank Sinatra for the audience and received feedback from the judging panel following their performances.
Returning judges Tim Edborg, Andrew Minton, Michelle Paterniti and Patricia Newman joined Chautauqua Lake Idol for another season.
"This group of judges work very well together in the decision making process each week, and we are delighted they each bring their own uniqueness to the program," Hill said.
After each singer performed Hill announced that no singers would be eliminated at the conclusion of the first show. Instead the judges are anxious to see the second group of eight singers perform on Monday, July 9, also singing a crooner's song, so judges can pick the best singers from the entire talent pool from both performances.
The audience did, however, get to save a singer through text voting.
"For years our audience has been asking us how they can have a part in the selection of who moves on ... and we are happy to team up with SlickText.com to give the audience the opportunity to voice their opinion and see immediate results."
During the voting process each competitor was lined up on the stage assigned a number: The audience was instructed to text which singer they wanted "saved" from the judge's elimination process. Within five minutes, Hill said Ben Swanson of Jamestown, a 2012 graduate of Maple Grove Junior-Senior High School, won the popular vote with his performance of Michael Buble's "Cry Me A River" and would be moving on to perform in the competition on July 16.
The remaining singers will find out their fate on Tuesday, July 10.
Chautauqua Lake Idol began in 2004 in a collaborative effort between Media One Group (WWSE, WJTN, WHUG, WKSN, WQFX) and the Bemus Bay Pops.