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Now browsing: Hometown News > News > Volusia County

Seniors Got Talent rocks the Riviera
Rating: 3.42 / 5 (12 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Nov 16 - 06:12

 

 

By Cathy Wharton

For Hometown News

 

 

It all began with a casting call to seniors, 62 or older, willing to showcase their talent.

The event: "Seniors Got Talent." The venue: The Riviera, an independent senior living facility in Holly Hill with unique events that keep it at the top of the list of creative activities. Open casting for the special event was Oct. 11, with the semi-finals on Oct. 25.

In the semi-final round, each contestant was introduced by master of ceremonies and local attorney Scott Selis. The talent pool had been narrowed to five singers (the sixth was a no-show), who then sang their own selections, karaoke style. As the crowd of more than 100 fans and residents looked on, each contestant, one at a time, took the microphone and belted out their best.

In order of appearance, the contestants and their song were Mike Adams, "Can't Help Falling in Love;" Patsy Widdowson, "Don't Touch Me;" Norman Carriere, "Quando, Quando;" Mark Wells, "Welcome To My World;" and Joyce Taylor, "Fill Me with Love." After each song, the performers were greeted with robust applause from the appreciative audience.

Reaching the finals, however, required more than singing one song. It also required timing and rhythm, plus stage presence, not to mention a good voice.

Round two of the semis began with Mr. Adams, who sang "After the Loving;" then Ms. Widdowson, "One Day at a Time;" Mr. Carriere, "New York, New York;" Mr. Wells, "Don't Close Your Eyes;" and Ms. Taylor, "A Table for Two, A Party for One." Each had his or her own style and preference for music, and all demonstrated remarkable talent.

After a brief deliberation, the panel of judges - Noel Colucco, Riviera's director of sales; Roy Johnson, mayor of Holly Hill; and Jim Bradley, winner of the first "Seniors Got Talent" - reached a decision. The three finalists, in no particular order, were Mr. Carriere, Ms. Widdowson and Ms. Taylor.

The semi-finals concluded with James Taylor's "How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You," sung by Mr. Selis and one or two brave sponsors.

On Nov. 1, the Riviera once again geared up for "Seniors Got Talent" - this time for the finale. The event had attracted a lot of attention and enthusiasm, and now it was time to pick the winner. The judges were Mayor Johnson and Mr. Bradley, joined by Bob Maron.

The final event kicked off with a Patsy Cline hit, "Sweet Dreams," sung by a contestant from the previous year. With that, the crowd was revved, and ready for the contest to begin. The rules, however, were slightly different. Now there would be three songs from each of the finalists, rather than two. After each song, the contestants would then face the judges for comments about their performance.

Starting the first round was Ms. Taylor who, in a consistent country-western style, sang "What Kind of Girl Do You Think I Am?" Next in line was Ms. Widdowson, who introduced her song by acknowledging Ann Murray, who in 1978 won a Grammy for "You Needed Me." The third finalist, Mr. Carriere, swooned the audience with his rendition of the "The Impossible Dream."

Round two began with Ms. Taylor singing "Long Black Train," followed by Ms. Widdowson, singing an Elvis Presley gospel called "Where Can I Go But to the Lord." The round was completed by Mr. Carriere, who sang the soulful "Summer Wind."

The third round started in the same order: Ms. Taylor's final song was "Amazing Grace," followed by Ms. Widdowson, who delivered a heartfelt version of Kris Kristopherson's "Why Me Lord?" Wrapping up the program was Mr. Carriere, who sang, "If I Ruled the World" - a Tony Bennet tune.

Finally, the time had come. As the judges deliberated, Mr. Selis proclaimed, "Everyone here is a winner."

A short time later, the judges had decided.

Mr. Carriere was the second runner-up. Prize: A $25 gift certificate.

First runner-up was Ms. Widdowson. Prize: A trophy, a bottle of wine and a gift card to Olive Garden.

The winner was Ms. Taylor. Her prizes: A trophy, a gift basket of wine and chocolates, and a gift card to Outback. Also, all were invited to perform at another local venue.




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