After nearly two hours and two stages, the audience and the judges picked their new Southeastern Star, Benjamin Black.
“This is the first time i actually won a competition, this is exciting,” said Black. “It’s totally different every year. Every year you have different competition, I feel this year the competition was really stiff and there was a lot of good singers and i thought anybody could have won, but somehow i came out on top. It was great.”
Southeastern Star follows the style of the popular television show “American Idol” in which several contestants are given a chance to demonstrate their talents to the audience and three judges. Southeastern Star follows this pattern however instead of lasting over several weeks like the television show, the competition only lasts a night.
Southeastern Star this year featured a number contestants from a variety of genres of vocal performances, but this year two guitarists were featured who sang as well. In addition, the third judge was omitted this time around with the audience substituting their vote for the final winner.
“We wanted to have the students involved and it allowed them to make up one third of the vote,” said CAB director Todd McElroy. “We just wanted to encourage the students to participate and be actively involved in the event.”
After the first performances, the audience was given a brief intermission to cast their votes for the final 3 contestants and were treated to previous Southeastern Star Heather Hand giving a farewell performance before the second round started. After Hands performance, only Benjamin Black, Bethany Puntham and Jennifer Rees were announced as the finalists.
Acting as master of ceremonies were current Miss SLU Jennifer Jarreau and vocal performance senior Jordan Legget
“It was a great success, there were so many people here to cheer on the contestants,” said Jarreau. “I think that they all did an amazing job.”
In addition to being a MC for the event, Legget competed in the last Southeastern Star as well.
“This was actually my first time MCing so i was really nervous but it was a very nice and liberating experience to not go out there and actually compete and to sit back and enjoy all the wonderful talents that all the students have to offer tonight,” said Legget. “It was a great group of contestants and i had no idea who was gonna win. I’m proud of every single one of them.”