Routon, Litman winners of ‘Idol’

Tue, 07/17/2007 - 4:37pm
By: Andrew Widener

Fayette Idols

Congratulations to new Fayette Idols Callie Routon and Teria Litman.

Aspiring singers gathered at the Villages Amphitheater near downtown Fayetteville last weekend to perform in the fourth annual Fayette Idol competition.

Under low clouds and receding sunlight, contestants from across the spectrum of age sang before the crowd of several hundred for nearly three hours. The participants were divided into under-13 and over-13 groups, with a dozen in the former category and almost twice as many in the latter. Night had fallen as Teria Litman, 11, triumphed for her rendition of “Summertime,” while Callie Routon, 19, won with “Settlin’” by the country duo Sugarland.

The country diva Martina McBride’s single “Anyway” proved to be a popular selection this year, as did “Settlin’.” Emcee Keith Sharp introduced and chatted briefly with the participants before their performances.

The evening did not pass without technical troubles, however, as Anna Smith, a 12-year-old student at Landmark Christian School in Fairburn, was forced to take to the stage on three separate occasions. The starting point of the song she was to sing, “Anyway,” seemed to elude the sound technicians. It made for an awkward few moments as Sharp and Smith struck up conversation about their favorite teachers.

Each of the contestants was allowed to sing for one minute. The finalists, five in the younger group and seven in the older, sang their selections in full. Those who did not make it into the final round still connected with the audience.

Jason Sewell, who at 28 has four children and is in the army, announced before singing “Love” by Musique that he and his family were leaving on a mission trip to Romania in a few days.

Alyssa Neal, 12, dedicated her performance of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” to her hospitalized mother and unborn brother.

Akimbo and wagging her finger, Katherine Jordan, 10, amused the crowd with a sassy version of “These Boots Were Made for Walkin’.”

Joey Kramer’s sleek interpretation of Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning” roused the audience to clap along as he asked, “Y’all ready to dance?”

Although country music exerted a predominant influence on the contestants’ selections, some chose from the standards, like Ryan Bowman, 18, who crisply sang “I’ve Got the World on a String,” and Jillian Safko, 15, who performed Etta James’ legendary jazz tune “At Last” in a black cocktail dress.

Felicia Rives sang “Beautiful,” a piece she composed herself about the spiritual aspects of creation. Sixteen-year-old Jeremy Mixon played an acoustic guitar as he sang “Crazy Jane,” a pop-punk-inspired song, which he wrote about a former romantic interest.

Sharp, the emcee, sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” as the panel of four judges narrowed the field for the final round. As the crowd thinned out and disappointed contestants sulked, Krysta Nick, last year’s winner, was on hand to announce the 2007 champions.

In addition to winners Litman and Routon, the finalists were, in the under-13 category, Kennedy Cann, Paige McCauley, Hannah Wright and Anna Smith, and, in the over-13 category, Ashley Helms, Joey Kramer, Felicia Rives, Jennifer Grubbs, Kevin Gay and Krystin Glover.

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