Mix of personalities performed Saturday in Idol competition

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, June 30, 2014

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Brian Scott Garner sings

Logan Collins

Brian Scott Garner sings "Only in America" by Brooks & Dunn at Greer Idol Saturday during Freedom Blast. 


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One teen said she sang in a Spartanburg bar, another performs at Smiley’s Café in Greenville and another singer has credits on Broadway and Indianapolis in singing roles.

These were some credits of the singers who debuted in the first round of Greer Idol and Idol Teen Saturday at the City of Greer Freedom Blast.

There are 9 adults vying for a $1,500 first place award and 12 teens are competing for the $500 top prize. The competition takes off July 4 and returns for four consecutive Fridays beginning July 11. Champions will be announced Aug. 1.

Two teen singers – Maloree McCormick and Jacob Roach – said they didn’t get nervous performing in front of nearly 1,600 spectators. McCormick said she gets plenty of practice at her parents’ Southport Bar in Spartanburg. Roach frequents Smiley’s Café on Augusta Street.

And John Garrison, who is returning after an early sendoff from Idol in 2012, said this is his “redemption tour”. Garrison has been one of the more successful Idol singers as he has appeared in 8 shows on Broadway in New York City, 15 shows in Indianapolis and Greenville Little Theatre productions.

Below are the singers who appeared Saturday, their patriotic-themed selection and notes and quotes.

Amy Alford

“Independence Day” by Martina McBride

“This is one of my favorite patriotic songs in a different way.”

Amy sings the National Anthem at Anderson Speedway. She entered Greer Idol “when my kids were passing by the auditions (Family Fest) and told me I should enter. I was the last person to audition.”

Brian Garner

“Only in America” by Brooks & Dunn

“It’s almost an anthem and it says we have so much opportunity. I have sung in front of large groups and I have confidence doing something I love.”

John Garrison

“Living in America” by James Brown

“I just love that song.”

John appeared in 8 shows on Broadway in New York City, appeared in 15 shows in Indianapolis performing in “Singing in the Rain”, and has appeared in Greenville Little Theatre productions. “I’m coming back here (missed finals in Idol 2012) for redemption.”

Elizabeth Hanie

“Blessed” by Martina McBride

Elizabeth practiced singing in front of her children ages 13, 11 and 9

Josh Jordan

“Where the Stars and Stripes and The Eagle Fly” by Aaron Tippin

“I love entertaining and felt comfortable out there.”

James Landreth

“Soldiers and Jesus” by James Otto

James was finalist at Liberty Idol in the past.

Lauren Painter

“God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood

“I sang that song because (Greenwood’s) lyrics are so powerful.”

Studying voice at Governor’s School, has appeared in Greenville in Harmony, and has performed opera.

Melissa Velez

“Pioneer” by The Band Perry

Melissa is a server at the Pelham Library. Sings karaoke at Quaker Steak in Greenville.

Stephen Young

“America the Beautiful” by Ray Charles

“I picked this song because it’s such an American theme.”

Stephen is in construction and remodeling homes. He sings in a gospel quartet. He has two sons.


Ashley Goss

Byrnes High School, Junior

“Let Freedom Ring” from “Independence Day” by Martina McBride

Sang with the Converse College singers for five years. This was the first time Ashley has sung outdoors.

Isabel Greene

Blue Ridge High School, sophomore

“America the Beautiful”

“It’s a really pretty song. It felt nice on the stage with the wind blowing.”

Zelena Hull

Woodruff Middle School

“Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” by Toby Keith

“Actually I felt in my element. I have sung at The Handlebar and with Randy Mason band.”

Sha Jackson

“American Honey” by Lady Antebellum

“I wanted something to fit my voice.”

Taylor Lee

“Everyday America” by Sugarland

“I like Sugarland and feel it represents my music right now.”

Maloree McCormick

Dorman High School, junior

“Wide Open Spaces” by Dixie Chicks

Maloree has auditioned with X Factor in Season 3. Sings at the Southport Bar, owned by her parents, Tim and Teresa.

Kelly Mendoza

Greer Middle School, 7th grade

Brother is Kieffer Mendoza, 2014 Greer Idol champion and a judge in the first round on Saturday.

“All-American Girl” by Carrie Underwood

“He (Kieffer) didn’t offer too much advice and I tried not to look at him while I was singing.”

Sophia Noyes

Homeschool, 9th grade

“Heaven was Needing a Hero” by Joe Dee Messina

“There are a lot of songs upbeat and happy. I wanted it to be patriotic but not sad.”

Jacob Roach

Easley High School, sophomore

“If you’re Reading This” by Tim McCraw

Jacob was a finalist in “Easley’s got talent”. He sings and plays guitar at Smiley’s Café in Greenville.

“I’m not strong on country. I love singing and playing my guitar. My baby (guitar) goes everywhere with me.”

Camden Taylor


“Travelin’ Soldier” by Dixie Chicks

Roni Teems

Homeschool, 8th grade

“America” by Brittini Black

“I liked this song because part of it sounds like a prayer.”

Roni auditioned in Los Angeles at Talent Showcase, an audition for talent agents and casting directors. She won the services of an agent. “That didn’t work out too good. So we’re now looking for a new agent.”

Devan White

Junior at Blue Ridge High School

“I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice

Devan wears a trademark cowboy hat when performing. He wore a black hat Saturday. “I like wearing cowboy hats and I am a big fan of George Strait.”




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