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Wellesley Idol competition to stay virtual after ABC Fest cancelled

[Aneta Rebiszewski / The Observer]

The cancellation last week of the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival didn’t mean just the postponement of the long-running event, it also means there’s currently no stage for the fall finals of the Wellesley Idol competition.

JP Sunga, judge and mentor with the competition, says the plan is to continue the competition with the current virtual platform. While no firm plans have been made as to how this will look, the 25 applicants who submit their video entry by May 24, will join a video chat with judges on May 31 to find out who moves on to the next stage of ‘Idol.’ This may be the plan for continuing with stage two and three of the competition as it moves forward.

Sunga says they are “open to shifting this plan to an alternate physical location” if restrictions are eased and the opportunity arises.

Allister Bradley, a member of the Idol team, says six to eight will move on to the semi-finals after the first auditions are held. From there private mentoring will take place before a competition for those who made it through.After that, the final three will be chosen to move on to the third round.

Stage two will begin for the eight semi-finalists who move forward in the competition later this summer.

Since the second and third rounds normally coincide with the Wellesley Fall Fair and the ABC Festival, the Idol team has the chance to change the timing since they will be operating independently this year.

“We want to balance the idea of condensing the timeline with the possibility that we could actually have some level of public gathering for performances if we wait until September as per usual,” said Bradley. “We’re very much adapting with the evolution of COVID-19 public practices and moving forward with all participants’ safety as a paramount concern, while maintaining the underlying goal of leaving as much of the Wellesley Idol process intact as possible.”

Bradley says the ABC Festival committee will still be giving prizes to the top three finalists with winner receiving $500, runner-up receiving $300 and the second runner-up receiving $200.

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