Along with taking in the smell of fresh apple fritters, people gathered at the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival Saturday were privy to the finals of this year’s Wellesley Idol competition, with 16-year-old Hadley Mustakas winning over the judges with her vocals.
Mustakas said winning was an amazing feeling, particularly as it didn’t seem like a competition because it was fun to be a part of the experience, adding she particularly enjoyed being able to listen to the performances of her fellow competitors.
“I feel like everyone brought such different performances and voices,” said Mustakas.
Growing up in an artistic environment shaped Mustakas as not only a singer but as a performer, something that shows whenever she is on stage. The young West Montrose resident notes that she’s been singing for as long as she remembers, adding it’s always been something she loves to do.
Mustakas started off her performance with a slower song, “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi and then followed through with a more upbeat song that got the crowd going. As a performer, the singer was moving all around on the stage to engage the crowd of people as she sang “King of Anything” by Sara Bareilles. Her performance won her the first-place prize of $500.
According to the panel of four judges – Allister Bradley, Tim Louis, JP Sunga, and previous idol winner Amy Rola – each of the three finalists brought something unique to the competition this year.
“There were three fantastic performers on stage today and they all just gave us something a little different. It was apples – really good apples. It was oranges – it was really good oranges. It was tough,” said Bradley.
Second-place winner Jordan Vogt wowed the judges with her two songs that showcased her vocal skills and won her a prize of $300. The 17-year-old from Linwood started off with “Still Rolling Stones” by Lauren Daigle, which she performed earlier at the Wellesley Fair and that got her into the finals. After she slowed things down with Taylor Swift’s hit, “All Too Well,” accompanying herself on the piano.
Vogt was also this year’s fan favourite choice winner and received the $125 prize that was donated by the Lions Club. She additionally sang two more songs for the crowd, starting with “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, followed by “Long Hot Summer” by Keith Urban, that kept festivalgoers energized and engaged.
In third place was the youngest competitor, 12-year-old Jorja Smith of Baden. Despite being the youngest, she showed off her abilities and shined through in her performance. Smith sang “What About Us” by Pink and then chose “Flashlight” by Jessie J as her second song. Smith was rewarded with $200 for her efforts.
Last year’s Idol winner, Rachel Reiger, made an appearance at the finals to sing three songs while the judges deliberated. She started off with “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse, and then sat down at the piano to play along to her second song, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” before finishing off her set with Adele’s “Sky is Falling” just in time for the judges to return with their decision.