Congratulations to the 2016 FEARLESS ICON FINALISTS!!!
Those in attendance at the Union County Performing Arts Center bore witness to an astounding musical experience. The "Sweet Sixteen" Semifinalists laid it all out on the line to a generous and enthusiastic audience. In the end, each judge made the tough choice and assumed the role of mentor for their selection and the audience voted their own champion to round out the FINAL FIVE!!!
Khy Garner drew the number one hot seat with first pick. He "went with his gut" and chose returning 2015 Semifinalist TIMOTHY WALTON. Timothy literally had a backstage fan club with his performance tonight. His tenor high notes will be a powerful presence in the finals.
Elizabeth Ward Land, a new edition to the Mentor Crew and Celebrity Judge from Elimination Round 1 seemed pensive but sure when she chose KYLE JAVON as the second finalist. Kyle's deep rich tones filled the 1334 seat theater. He too will be a force to be reckoned with on December 11th.
In his third year at the wheel, Patrick Starega chose CRAIG TIEDE to join the stellar crew. Craig was an Audience Save in his elim round and proved the worth of the popular vote. Craig carried a stoic intensity and strong emotional quality throughout the competition that subtlety refused to diminish. Look for him to bring something special to the stage on Icon Sunday...
Celebrity Guest Judge Richard Kline had the tough task of making the fourth and final selection of the remaining eligible artists. Returning 2015 Finalist NATASHA KURILEW got the bid from Richard that will give her a back to back appearance at the big show. Natasha's fierce mix of rock/theater talent proved once again to resonate well with the audience and judges alike. Her experience and talent will certainly be a contender once again.
The "Audience Save" is possibly one of the most enjoyable components of this competition. Through the majority vote of all those in attendance, VANESSA SIERRA earned her rightful place as the fifth finalist. At 17 years old, Vanessa is the youngest artist to advance to the finals, but her vocals are more than capable to stand toe to toe with the field.
Fearless Music Director Bruce De La Cruz provided brilliant accompaniment for the sixteen performers on a gorgeous Fazioli Piano and the capable production team of Tim James, Bree Guell, Josh Cote and Tim Chavis sculpted a true gift for the Main Stage crowd.
Much accolades belong to all of the Semifinalists who each shared their talent and passion:
Chrissy Danielson (Top 8)
Malessa Lamatina (Top 8)
Suzanne Ramsey-Restivo (Top 8)
Crystal Ann Bennett
Krista Megan Gonzalez
The iconic third year comes to fruition on Sunday December 11, at the UCPAC Main Stage where the title and the Grand Prize will be awarded, which includes a 2500 dollar cash prize compliments of RSI Bank, and the production of the winner's dream role and show compliments of Fearless Productions and UCPAC.
Tickets available at www.ucpac.org