lilD: Juice FM 107.3 contest brings out the bestWritten by lilD | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Who says Toledoans don’t support local talent? This past weekend threw that theory in the trash!
The Juice 107.3’s “Put Me On Live” contest brought supporters out to the Collingwood Arts Center in flocks on April 8 and 9. Beginning with 24 contestants, half rappers and half singers, the talented hopefuls gave their all for this “American Idol”-style competition.
Complete with a panel of educated commentators offering constructive criticism and encouragement, each artist brought their A-game.
Hip-Hop artists from as far as Chicago and as near as your neighborhood hit the stage Friday, each offering a unique swagger. And while some artists needed a little help in particular areas (breath control, crowd control, clothing … there are more, but I’ll be nice), the overall offering was impressive.
Native Chicago artist PayPerFlave was definitely in character, dressed in a white suit with matching fedora, and of course, the white gators. He looked like a walking billboard for Chicago. And he was the only artist who had his street team throwing his promotional shirts out.
Female MC Officially E~B was a crowd favorite, performing her single “Body Rockin’,” which has more than 14,000 hits on YouTube.
Perhaps the most animated Hip-Hop artist was Correct. From beginning to end, he was a nonstop ball of energy. What was the most impressive about him was that, unlike some of the other performers, he didn’t seem to have brought a huge group of supporters with him, yet he still won over the crowd. Now that’s Hip-Hop.
The following night, Saturday, was the R&B performer’s chance to battle it out, ballad for ballad. The most upsetting part about their performances was that they were all so good, I couldn’t really make fun of anyone. Yep, I’m serious.
Spyda kicked off the competition. Since she sang Alicia Keys’ “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart,” she decided to really give us a show and perform with a bed onstage. She was the only artist who had real stage props, complete with a dresser and flatscreen television. One thing all artists must remember; your show is just as important as your voice.
Some of the audience was skeptical about Chris Shutters. He had bangs and walked out with a guitar. Someone actually yelled “Justin Bieber.” But the ignorance was silenced the moment Shutters opened his mouth. Performing Bill Withers’ classic “Ain’t no Sunshine,” he mesmerized the crowd. My fellow Star columnist Martini Rox was a commentator, and asked him “What church do you go to?” Shutters proved that the underdog can succeed.
No stranger to the stage, Tracy was the first singer to use the entire stage — and the floor — to entertain the crowd. One commentator said “That boy’s a performer!” Enough said.
The most entertaining had to be Hazel. Her song was about the popular dance Crump, and one particular member of the audience felt the music in his soul, and his impromptu dancing brought even more energy to Hazel’s performance. I hope she got his number for future performances.
The competition is just getting started. The six people chosen from each genre will advance and compete again, inching closer to the grand prize, which will be announced soon. If you missed the first show, do yourself a favor and make sure you’re at the next one, April 15 and 16.