Ryan Wilson proudly holds his winnings for capturing the 2012 Greer Idol Championship tonight.
Megan Watts performed one of her own songs she wrote and earned the 2012 Greer Idol Teen Champion.
Wally Dressen, runnerup for 2012 Greer Idol champion, congratulates Ryan Wilson on his earning $1,500 and the championship.
Megan Watts and Kayla Kershaw are awaiting emcee Mike Lowery to announce the results of the Greer Idol Teen finals tonight. Watts, 16, won.
Ross was killed in Afghanistan Tuesday by small arms fire, according to the Department of Defense. Ross is a Byrnes graduate, attended Airport Baptist Church in Greer and his girlfriend was B.B. Lowery the daughter of Greer Idol host Mike Lowery.
Wilson and Watts dedicated songs in honor of Ross’ service to his country and won over the judges with their strong vocals, stage presence and confident performances. Wilson won $1,500 and Watts $500.
It was the largest turnout for Greer Idol and Tunes on Trade since week one.
The singers were required to perform three songs – their choice, one selected by Lowery and the same song – tonight it was “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”
Wilson performed “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, “This Thing Called Love” by Elvis Pressley and Katharine McPhee’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainow.”
Wilson’s rendition of the falsetto was a calculated risk, he said. “Being a high tenor I wanted to show I could sing that song in a falsetto voice. There was a lot of emotional risk to sing that song.”
A big group of fans cheered wildly for Wilson. “The more the audience interacts with me the more I relate to them,” Wilson said.
Judges voting accounted for 60 percent of the vote tonight. Robin Byouk reported there were 367 votes cast for the Idol contests. “This competition has graduated so much to online voting you have to a have a base to get you through,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he was concerned during the competition that he didn’t sing songs from his era and thought it might hurt him. “I grew up with songs my parents listened to like Motown and older songs.”
Wilson said he plans to re-invest the winnings into his singing career.
Dreesen stayed true to his genre in tonight’s competition by singing “Fly Me To The Moon” and “That’s Life”, both Frank Sinatra songs. He was the oldest contestant this year and outlasted everyone including last year’s runnerup Doug Allen.
Dana Jordan, 2011 Greer Idol winner, sang “Pontoon” by Little Big Town and teamed with Allen to sing “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.
It was the second time Watts performed a song she wrote. During Freedom Blast on June 30 she also sang a patriotic song and dedicated it to her father, who is in Afghanistan and has monitored her performances online.
Watts said she plans to spend her earnings on purchasing a MacBook, with her mother agreeing to pitch in half the cost.
Judges ran out of adjectives to describe Watts’ performances. Her song of choice “Remember You Today” was one she wrote and dedicated it to Ross. Judge Brian Martin said, “That was an amazing and prophetic song.”
“If I Was A Boy” by Reba Mcentire was Watts’ second song and judges were even more impressed with Shannon Taylor saying, “You truly told that story and your stage presence was excellent.”
Watt’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” was also McPhee’s rendition. Martin paused and told Watts, “I could listen to that voice all day long.” She dedicated the song to B.B. Lowery, the girlfriend of Ross.
Kershaw sang “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston, as her choice, “Mama’s Song” by Carrie Underwood and “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”.