Idol competition returns to Cortez

Singers will compete for $1,000 cash prize

Warm up those vocal chords. Auditions for the Real Second Annual Cortez Idol competition kick off next week.

Hosted at Blondie’s Trophy Room in downtown Cortez, the singing competition is modeled after the hit television show, American Idol. Billed as the Four Corners’ hottest singing competition, the event includes two weeks for auditions followed by a six-week elimination style competition.

“We’re looking forward to another fun year,” said event organizer Patty Simmons. “The first place winner gets a $1,000 cash prize.”

Simmons, who serves as one of three judges for this year’s competition, said the first round of auditions kick off on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The second and final round of auditions follows on Wednesday, Jan. 22. Auditions start at 8 p.m. on both nights.

“Anyone can sign up to be a contestant,” Simmons said. “There are no age limits.”

The youngest contestant from 2012’s inaugural Cortez Idol competition was an eight-year-old boy. Last year’s winner was 16-year-old Brianna Sanchez of Dove Creek.

“The best part about winning was not the prizes,” she said. “What amazed me were the little girls who asked if they could hug me and kiss me on the cheek.”

During open auditions, contestants are limited to five minutes to sing the song of their choice. During the six-week competition, weekly themes will require contestants to sing specific songs. For example, one week will be all Elvis Presley tunes, and another week will nothing but Beatles songs.

“Contestants will have to learn a new song for theme nights,” Simmons said.

After auditions, the top 15 contestants will move on to compete in the weekly karaoke-style themes. Throughout the competition, contestants will be whittled down each week. Once the top five are chosen, contestants will no longer be allowed to read the lyrics on a karaoke screen.

“We want the best showman,” said Cortez Idol host P.A. Jackson. “We’re looking for someone who can stand on stage and belt it out. An entertainer.”

In the final week of competition, the top three contestants will compete for the $1,000 cash prize. The winner will be chosen based on judges’ scorecards in combination with the audience favorite.

No entry fee is required to enter the competition, but pre-registration is encouraged. Contestants can sign up at Blondie’s Trophy Room, located at 45 E. Main St., or they can register on Facebook by searching and joining the 2nd Annual Cortez Idol event page.

Competitions will be held weekly every Wednesday evening at Blondie’s Trophy Room.