Greer Idol Finals

The happiest times can also be the saddest for Lowery

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, July 27, 2011


This is one of Mike Lowery’s happiest times of the year and it is one of his most gut wrenching.

Doug Allen or Dana Jordan will be selected winner of Greer Idol 5 on Friday night. Auditions that began during the Greer Family Fest, and have been ongoing throughout the summer, will come to a climatic finish with each person singing three songs.

And thus will end another bittersweet summer for Lowery.

“It gets to be personal. You can’t help but become friends with these guys,” Lowery said of the Greer Idol contestants through the years. “I hate to see anyone gone.”

Last week’s elimination of Dylan Arms was another chapter of a quality singer having to leave the competition in the most talented Greer Idol to date. “Any one of these can win,” Lowery said before the performances of Arms, Allen and Jordan. “I’ve had a blast with the competitors.”

Robin Byouk, Greer Cultural Arts Supervisor, and Lowery, have developed one of the most watched events in the city. This week’s final has been a highly anticipated event since the selection of the final four.

Byouk begins her Idol workday about noon on Friday getting the stage area prepared for the singers and coordinates their arrival and appearance. Between those chores is the placement of volunteers at the venues and voting stations.

Byouk is the designated person calling the contestants each week to tell them they have advanced or have been cut. “She has to make the bad call,” Lowery said. “It’s the way we designed the roles.”

Lowery has more interaction with the singers. “I try to keep them all from being nervous. I want to keep them at ease and relaxed.” Lowery will banter when the music doesn’t start on time or will try to cajole the singers and audience after misidentifying a song or an artist. “I’ve learned to be quick thinking up there. The audience is there to hear and see the singers perform, not listening to me.”

Lowery said when the fans support their favorites with prolonged applause and cheers, he steps back to let the performers enjoy the moment. “I don’t mind to pause for as long as they want to cheer. You want that kind of enthusiasm,”

The competitors will sing a song of their choice, Lowery’s selection and each will perform the same song. Picking a song for the finale isn’t an easy chore for Lowery. “I list what they have sung and what I haven’t heard them sing but would have liked. We will challenge them in the finals to be better than they have been. After all, it’s about being better every time you perform,” Lowery said.

Judges voting and live voting will determine this year’s champions. The winner will be announced approximately 9:45 p.m. and receive the $1,500 first price.

The Holiday Band will perform at Tunes On Trade Friday from 7 – 10 p.m.

National Dance Day will be celebrated during intermission. Audience members are invited to participate in a salsa dance that will be videotaped and sent to “So You Think You Can Dance” Facebook page, “Dance 4 Your Life!

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Mike Lowery


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