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February 4, 2009 > Union City Teen Idol 2009 - Round Two Over

Union City Teen Idol 2009 - Round Two Over

By Simon Wong

The William C. May, Jr. Teen Center was the venue for Round Two of Union City's Teen Idol 2009 on Friday, January 30.

This week, performers were judged by Jumoke Hill, organizer of the competition, guest judge Crystal Garcia and Union City Leisure Services staff member Tori Lyon.

Friends and families of the fifteen contestants, who had auditioned successfully, gathered to support and watch the performances.

Before live performances began, Jumoke Hill played Episode One of a short documentary film that he is making about Union City Teen Idol 2009. Not only did it feature those selected for the second round, it also showed those who were not so lucky.

In Round Two, competitors were permitted to provide music. This brought performances alive. Singers' voices assumed the form of a musical instrument complementing the songwriters' instrumental. Technically difficult vocals were managed with aplomb. Some had chosen more suitable songs; clearly, everyone had heeded the judges' advice during the open auditions.

All of the teens delivered excellent live performances though in a few cases nerves got the better of them and they forgot the lyrics.

"Make up the words, if you forget them," said Mr Hill.

"Recovery is what the judges want to see," added Ms Lyon.

Those who did not make it to the finals were naturally disappointed. Nevertheless, the judges encouraged them to continue performing and develop their skills.

The following were selected for the Finals: Akhshaya Baskar (dancer), Estaban Leon (solo guitarist), Jazleen Serrano, Kristina Johnson, Kaylie Stewart, Mele Tulva, Trina Dimaranan, Priya Vijaykumar and John Christopher (singers).

The fates of solo vocalists Katelyn West and Annelise Wood lie in the balance. They still await the result of their second round performances.

"They are the wildcards at the moment," said Jumoke Hill. "The judges are finding it difficult to decide between them but a decision will be made before next Friday's Finals. One of them will return."

Finalists will compete for the title of Union City Teen Idol 2009 on Friday, February 6 at 6 p.m. Prizes are an IPOD, an IPOD shuffle and a $40 iTunes Gift Card.

For more information, call (510) 675-5276, email or visit

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