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Wellesley Idol ready to provide a stage for young singers

Paige Warner was the winner of last year’s Wellesley Idol competition. Organizers are now seeking prospects for 2016. [File Photo]

Wellesley Idol is once again searching for their next star.

Auditions start on May 29, with registration closing on May 22, and judges want to hear young singers in the township belt it out.

Last year’s winner, Paige Warner, wants to tell those who are thinking about signing up to sing to just go for it.

“Just don’t worry about it. For me, what I had to remember was that it wasn’t about winning because my first time doing it, I hadn’t really sung in public before, so just the fact that I did it was a huge step already. I think just be happy with how you do, despite whether you make it to the finals or the semi finals, or wherever,” she said, adding that it took her three tries to win the competition. “Four years ago, I auditioned and didn’t even make it past the first round, which was quite emotional on my part. I had actually told myself that I was never going back and that I couldn’t do it, but when it came time again the next year, to do the auditions again, I told myself that I didn’t want to do it, but that is why I had to. So I auditioned again and made it to the finals and got the fan favourite and third place.”

The contest has been running for 11 years, with the winners announced with a performance at the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival. Christine Bender, one of the organizers, says in previous years, the singing competition has been fiercely popular.

“We usually are full. We actually had to put a deadline and a limit on it. We had a cutoff. Hopefully we still get some more this year. We had a waiting list last year,” she said.

Only nine singers have signed up so far this year, so there is plenty of room for those who want to test their pipes. Bender commends the singers for even getting up on the stage.

“We’ve got a huge range of contestants. Some of them, they are beginners, but you have to give them the credit for getting up there to try. Just go for it,” she said, adding that even if a singer doesn’t win, they will get some valuable advice on how to do better the following year. “The judges also give a lot of feedback, and it is all positive and ways they can improve. You don’t need to think you are the best.”

Youth aged 10 to 18 can enter the competition and must live in Wilmot, Wellesley, Woolwich or Perth East townships. There are some big prizes for those that make it to the top three spots in the contest, and a smaller prize for fan favourite.

First place takes home $500, second place gets a prize of $300, third place wins $200 and People’s Choice winner will take home $125.

For the registration form, contact Bender at stevechrisbender@hotmail.com, or call 519-656-2034.

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