The third annual Ahwatukee Foothills Prep Idol boasted more talent than ever.
“I think everything went great,” said Chris Steward, Ahwatukee Foothills Prep’s music teacher. “All the kids got up there, they pulled through the nerves. I always tell them that a good singer always will be nervous because when you stop getting nervous that’s when you have to start worrying about your talent.”
Out of the 40 students who auditioned 10 weeks ago, 20 remained.
This year Steward said the competition was broken into two categories – one for kindergarten through third-graders and one for fourth- through eighth-graders.
In the kindergarten through third-grade category, third place went to Imani Saya, who sang “Reflection” by Christina Aguilera, second place went to Noelle Vigenser, who sang “My Favorite Things,” and first place went to Jaylene Medina, who sang “A Whole New World” from the Disney film Aladdin.
“My mom likes that song and I wanted her to be happy and my whole family to be happy,” Medina said.
In the fourth- through eighth-grade category, third place went to Tony Reyes, who sang and danced a little to “Baby” by Justin Bieber, and second place went to Destiny Vaughn, who sang “Bubbly” by Colbie Caillat. First place went to Da’Janea Holmes, who won AFP Idol in 2008 and placed third in 2009.
Holmes chose to sing Fantasia Barrino’s “I Believe.”
“It fit my voice and it really helps me because most songs are like kiddish Hannah Montana, it’s not really for me,” Holmes said.
Holmes said she’s been singing since she was 3 years old and plans to pursue a singing career when she grows up. She also joked she’s going to Disneyland after winning the competition.
Steward said it’s the students’ enthusiasm for the competition that has kept AFP Idol going into its third year.
“They love the aspect of being able to sing in front of the audience,” Stewart said.
Audience members were asked for either a $1 donation or a musical instrument to be used in the school’s music class.
Steward said winners will have their pictures posted on the school’s “wall of fame” at the campus, 10210 S. 50th Place, and will be featured in the school’s future concerts.
“It’s a great bunch of students. They did an excellent job, and I wish the best to a lot of them, and I really look forward to seeing how they progress as they grow up,” judge Brian Pitts of WiFi Entertainment said.