Final week of Downtown Sounds Teen Idol
 

For the past three weeks, local teens have been wowing the community with their talented vocal skills through the Downtown Sounds Teen Idol contest, which is now in its final week.


Shye Roberts, left, and Lexi Briones are the top two finalists for Downtown Sounds Teen Idol.

The contest began with five contestants on July 1, and on Friday, July 22, it comes down to the final two teen singers vying to be the first Downtown Sounds Teen Idol: Shye Roberts, 15, and Lexi Briones, 13, both of Glen Cove.

“The contest not only gave our talented teens a platform to perform, but the entire community is invested and can’t wait to see what happens next,” Patricia Holman, executive director of the Glen Cove Downtown Business Improvement District said.


Holman decided to create contest this year in recognition of the 25th anniversary of Downtown Sounds summer concert series, which takes place weekly on Friday nights at 7:30 p.m. in Glen Cove’s Village Square.


“We’re celebrating 25 years of bringing live music to downtown Glen Cove,” Holman said, “and I wanted to mark that milestone by bringing something special to our community.”


Shye Roberts, 15, of Glen Cove, sang “Hold My Hand” by Lady Gaga Photo by Gill Associates Photography

According to Holman, holding the contest was intended to not only offer something for teens, but also to further engage the Downtown Sounds audience. And based on the crowds that have turned up, cheered for the contestants, and cast their ballots each week, it’s worked.
“Downtown Sounds has always drawn large crowds, but we have noticed an increase of ages 13 to 18, as well as new faces that come to cheer on the contestants,” Holman said.

Since the start of the contest, the contestants have taken the stage during intermission of Downtown Sounds to perform one song each. Per the contest rules, the songs match the genre of that night’s concert, beginning with soul/R&B the first night, country the next week, and top current hits last week. On July 22, the contestants will sing 1970s pop or disco during the Dancing Dream -- ABBA Tribute concert.


Lexi Briones performed Adele’s “Easy on Me.” Photo by Gill Associates Photography

“I’m so grateful to be here and to have made it into the top three,” Lexi said ahead of her performance July 15.


Charlotte Marchioli, 16, of Sea Cliff, performed on July 15 and said she was thrilled to have made it into the final three. “I am so beyond grateful for the opportunity to participate in Teen Idol and make it to the Top 3,” Charlotte said. “It’s not every day you get the chance to play in front of hundreds of people, and that aspect of the competition in particular has fueled a ton of growth for me."

Charlotte Marchioli sang "Midnight Sky" by Miley Cyrus during the third week of the contest. Photo by Gill Associates Photography

"It was truly wonderful to get to meet other teens with my same passion and also teens from other towns who, perhaps, I wouldn’t have crossed paths with if not for the competition. Everyone was just so supportive and excited for each other and I loved watching everyone get up there and give it their all every week. I mean, even when nerves were through the roof and competition was fierce, Shye, Lexi and I were hyping each other up and joking around backstage. I think there’s something so special about that. Teen Idol has truly just been such an amazing experience and I’ve grown so much as an artist and as a person.”


While the contest is judged each week by three industry professionals, audience participation is encouraged to help determine which contestants should go to the next round. Ballots are available for audience members to vote on their top choice or can be cast via email to downtownsoundsteenidol@gmail.com. The winner will receive $750 and a two-hour session at Tiki Recording Studios.


The official contest judges are Eddie Profet, a professional musician and a member of The Doobie Others; Lou-Ann Thompson, board member the Glen Cove Downtown Business Improvement District, who is a singer/songwriter and musician; and Fred Guarino, owner of Tiki Recording Studios in Glen Cove and chair of the Downtown Sounds Committee, and vice president of the Glen Cove Downtown BID. Each week, special guest judges have stepped in, including Prentiss O’Neill of The Drifters, Ami-Jane of The Rustlers, and Barry Antoine of Paradigm. Each one has been honored to participate.


The contest will come to a head this Friday during the Dancing Dream concert, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Lexi and Shye will return to the stage for the final round during intermission around 8:30 p.m. Ballots will again be available at the BID table so audience members can cast their votes and help determine the first Downtown Sounds Teen Idol.