Dixie Idol features students, faculty as vocal contestants

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Singing hit songs while charming the audience and winning votes were the goals of the 20 contenders to be the next Dixie Idol.  

The five-performance competition ensued the week before and during D-week and is a competition where Dixie State University students and faculty members flaunt their singing skills in hopes of a cash prize. Twenty initial contenders were whittled down to three during four preliminary competitions between April 8 and Monday. The final competition will be at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Gardner Center ballroom and will feature three finalists: Lauren Randall, Becca Gonzales, and Bernadette “MZBEE” Jefimoff.

The first competition April 8 featured a wide array of talent and music choice among the 20 competitors. Votes from the audience determined who moved on to following competitions in pop, country and Broadway. Contestants were eliminated two by two until only three remained after the Broadway competition. One winner will take home a $500 prize at the end of it all.

Many of the students who entered in the competition were motivated by the money and the chance to gain singing experience in front of a crowd.

Sky Crystal, a junior communication major from Twin Falls, Idaho, is the vocalist of local band Kingdoms and competed in Dixie Idol until eliminated after the Broadway competition on April 13.

“My inspiration is Jesus and Sum 41, but my motivation to enter [Dixie Idol] was my mom,” Crystal said. “She can’t work right now, and I really wanted to help her out by sending her the check if I won.”  

Jefimoff, a faculty member who works in the Red Rock Café and goes by the alias, MZBEE, is a finalist who entered the competition to gain exposure as a vocalist and hopefully attract the attention of a pianist to accompany her. Having no professional singing experience, Jefimoff hopes to make her big break as a vocalist with Dixie Idol.

“I couldn’t be more excited to sing [at Dixie Idol],” Jefimoff said. “All colored people used to sing when I was little, and I’ve been singing all my life ever since.”

Chants from the audience of “MZBEE, MZBEE” filled the Gardner Center after her first performance, and since then, Jefimoff has been supported at each competition by her increasing fans.

Randall, a senior psychology major from Upland, California is another finalist who entered Dixie Idol to conquer her fear of singing in front of crowds.

“I love to sing,” Randall said. “I’ve love the opportunity to face my fears and put myself out there in front of my peers.”

Gonzales, a freshman general education major from Meridian, Idaho, is the third finalist and signed up to compete in Dixie Idol because “it’s so much fun to sing,” she said.

Gonzales drew many cheers after performing the Broadway song “Take me or Leave Me” from the musical “Rent” on Monday 13, winking and singing among the audience.

Krissia Beatty, a junior communication major from St. George, helped to organize Dixie Idol as an opportunity for contestants to share their talents and gain exposure performing.

“It’s a really fun experience for both the participants and the audience,” Beatty said. “A lot of people get really into it and we always have a great turnout.”

This is the second year the DSU Student Association has held Dixie Idol.

“We hope it will be a tradition in years to come,” Beatty said.