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February 10, 2010 > Making of a new Teen Idol

Making of a new Teen Idol

By Mona Shah

The votes are in and the new Union City Teen Idol is 14 year old Kestine Marie from Challenger School. Teen Idol Night took place on Friday, February 5 at the Holly Community Center in Union City. The center was filled with the finalists' family and friends and others who wanted to watch the show. A supportive crowd was exuberant and cheered on each performer as they competed for the title of "Union City Teen Idol" and one of three prizes - gift cards to Best Buy, $75, $50 and $25 respectively. Second place went to 12 year old Victoria Houston of Fremont Christian School and the third place winner was 17 year old Tim Kim of American High School.

Similar to the popular television show, American Idol, three judges judge the Teen Idol competition. Each judge scored the finalists on Stage Presence, Originality, and Audience Reaction. After all finalists performed, a final tally was computed and contestants with the three highest scores won.

Sponsored by Union City Leisure Services (UCLS), Union City Teen Idol Contest is open to 12 - 17 year-old singers and rappers. There are three rounds in the competition in which contestants are asked to prepare a song or rap routine of 30-60 seconds in length and perform "a cappella" during the first round of auditions.

Selected contestants are asked to return for a second round. Contestants are permitted to bring an instrumental track in CD format for this round of competition, as performing to tracks with words is not allowed. Judges selected ten talented individuals to return for the final round.

The competition organized by Jumoke Hill, recreation leader for Union City's Leisure Services, who thought that a local talent competition would be of interest to Tri-City teens. If you are a loyal American Idol fan, you may have seen Jumoke Hill audition for season five. Though he sang his heart out in front of judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, he was told "No to Hollywood." That hasn't stopped Hill from living a life filled with music.

Hill and UCLS invite teens from all over the Tri-City area to try out for next year's competition. Those who do not intend to compete are invited to attend auditions and cheer for their favorite performers. Support for those who vie for the title is greatly appreciated. You never know... a Union City Teen Idol might just end up going to Hollywood and becoming an American Idol!

For more information, call (510) 675-5276 or visit

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