Three finalists from last year’s KC SuperStar competition are back for another run at the title of the area’s best high school singer and a $10,000 scholarship.
Sam Aubuchon, a sophomore at Blue Springs High School; Madi Toman, a Paola High School junior; and Valiante Waltz, a senior at Raymore-Peculiar High School, are among 24 high school students chosen semifinalists for the 2017 “American Idol/The Voice” style contest. They competed March 29 and April 2, and will now move on to compete at 7 p.m. June 5.
The semifinalists were selected from a field of 180 students from metro-area high schools by a panel of judges and Tammy Ruder, producer and director of the event, after two days of auditions at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park.
“It’s great to be part of KC SuperStar again. The experience of being a finalist last year really helped me. I wasn’t quite the nervous wreck this time that I was when I auditioned last year,” Toman said with a laugh. “I knew what to expect.”
“My goal is to reach the finals again and see what happens,” she added. “If I don’t win I guess I’ll just have to try again next year.”
“I was a lot more confident when I auditioned this year. Being through it before helped,” Waltz said. “I’m especially excited because I’m a senior and this is my last chance. I want to do well.”
“I wasn’t nervous while I was singing. I was more nervous waiting to see if I made the cut,” said Waltz, who hopes to make musical theater his career, and has appeared in such performances as ‘The Drowsy Chaperone”at The Theatre in the Park.
“Auditioning was a little stressful but I knew how to prepare this time around,” Aubuchon said. “It also helped being with Madi and Valiante again. We became good friends last year. A good thing, since I’m a sophomore, if I don’t win I have two more years to try again.”
Aubuchon said he’s been singing and performing on stage since he was 11 years old. “I was in ‘Honk’ at The Theatre in the Park a couple of years ago and I’m in ‘Back to the ’80s’ there this summer.”
This was the second time Brooklynn Anderson, an Olathe North senior, has auditioned for KC SuperStar.
“I auditioned two years ago and didn’t make it then forgot to audition last year,” she said. “My mom made sure I didn’t forget again. She went with me.
“I’m glad she did. I’m super-excited about being in the semifinals. I’m a senior so this is my last chance.”
Aggie Williams, a Shawnee Mission East freshman, auditioned for the first time this year.
“I was so excited I didn’t know what to do. I sang my song and left. I didn’t know whether I was good or bad,” she said. “I guess I did OK because here I am.”
This also was the first year Savanna Worthington, a junior at Shawnee Mission East, has auditioned. “I’ve been singing and dancing since I was 5. I’m in ‘Camp Rock, the Musical’ this summer at The Theatre in the Park and before that I was there in ‘Honk’ and ‘Annie Warbucks.’ ”
Leah Willhite, a senior at Blue Valley West, auditioned a year ago and didn’t make the semifinals.
“I knew this was my last chance so I prepared better. I made up my mind I wasn’t going to make a big deal of it either way,” she said. “But I’m really glad I made the semifinals.”
Willhite plays the piano and guitar and writes songs.
“I didn’t sing a song I’d written at the audition, though. I wasn’t sure that would be a good idea,” she said.
Ezri Killeen, a St. Thomas Aquinas senior, was another first-timer at the KC SuperStar auditions.
“I’m excited. I didn’t know it would be so much fun. I thought my audition went pretty well but you never know what the judges like,” she said. “I’m surprised I made the semifinals my first try.”
There isn’t a prize for the contestant who travels the greatest distance to audition. But if there was Maela Jo Stevens would win, hands down. She’s a sophomore at Northwest High school in Wichita.
“When my mom heard about the KC SuperStar auditions we decided I should enter,” Maela said. “The trip’s only a couple of hours or so. It was well worth it. It’s a great opportunity for me. I’m looking forward to competing in the semifinals.”
For more information call 913-981-8893 or go to kcsuperstar.com