Delaney Gaddis wins Idol contest |

Delaney Gaddis wins Idol contest

John Colson
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Delaney Gaddis, the youngest contestant in the Glenwood Idol competition at Strawberry Days 2011, took home the iPad first prize and the opportunity to open up for Saturday evening’s main music act, Sina and the Big Bang.

Gaddis, 15 and a sophomore at Glenwood Springs High School, toppled an impressive lineup of acts, exclusively local talent who came out of the woodwork to compete, including other singers and songwriters and a juggler accompanied by a frenetic pianist.

“I really didn’t think I would get first,” said Gaddis. “I had decided to be in the top 10,” and she would have been fine with that, she remarked.

With a sound track playing behind her, Gaddis performed “One plus One” by Beyonce, who sang the song herself at the American Idol 2011 season 10 finale on May 25.

As her victory was announced by Glenwood Idol producer Lorie Beattie Courier, Gaddis pointed toward her sister, standing in the crowd outside the new Sayre Park gazebo that served as the FamilyFest Stage, and called out, “Cassidy, I love you.”

She said that, beyond some school productions, the only singing she does is at home with Cassidy and their other sister, Ashley.

A total of 10 acts competed on Saturday, trying to win the favor of the three judges – Marianne Virgili, John Goss and Jacquie Meitler.

The judges, in true American Idol style, offered encouraging tips to the performers about how to improve their acts, including Gaddis.

“Be bold, be big,” Meitler told Gaddis. “You can take it to the next level, so do that.”

With 75 or so spectators seated under the gazebo roof, and another 75 or more on the lawn outside, singer-guitarist Brett Tenza opened the show with a strong performance of “Slide” by the Goo Goo Dolls, drawing the first of many loud ovations from an enthusiastic audience.

Although the spectators were mainly local residents, some came from far afield.

“I came all the way from Minnesota to see this,” said Rosemary Ogren.

Ogren’s grandson, guitarist and singer Kyle Ogren, was part of a trio performing “I Wouldn’t Mind” by the band, HeIsWe, at the competition, along with vocalist Maddie Melia and singer-guitarist Kayla Kline.

Melia told that crowd she came across the song one day and it inspired her.

“So, there I was, listening to this song, and I thought, I should sing this,” she said. She then rounded up Kline and Melia, the three of them rehearsed it for one night, and they signed up for Glenwood Idol.

One of the more unusual acts was a song by vocalist Jimmy Coates, who belted out “The Best Is Yet To Come” in a fine salute to “my heroes, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.”

Each of the contestants took home a plaque memorializing their participation in the first-ever Glenwood Idol competition.

Courier, a former Strawberry Queen and a teacher for more than three decades, said she plans to repeat the contest at the 2012 Strawberry Days celebration.

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