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Butterflies part of weekly Manteca Idol competition

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Butterflies part of weekly Manteca Idol competition

Judi Hoagland belts out a Patti LaBelle track Wednesday during the Manteca Idol finals at Chez Shari.

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED September 24, 2009 1:51 a.m.
Judi Hoagland wasn’t nervous when she took the stage in San Antonio at a conference to perform in front of 3,500 people.

With her love for singing – which started on a whim during a night of karaoke – she stepped out in front of the raucous Texas crowd and belted out her best track without even a single butterfly buzzing in her stomach.

But on Wednesday when she took the stage at Chez Shari for the third week of the Manteca Idol finals, those pre-performance jitters couldn’t have been any stronger as she sauntered up and engaged in her witty banter with emcee and reigning Manteca Idol Christine Acosta. It is something that has been a staple between the two of them and adds a dose of comic relief.

“I get up there and I realize that I know everybody out there in the room and I don’t want to mess up,” Hoagland said. “I love singing, and to be a part of something like this that helps out the Boys and Girls Club is amazing and I’m glad that I’ve had this opportunity – even if it makes me nervous.”

Despite the butterflies, Hoagland doesn’t appear to have very much to worry about every time she takes the microphone and steps up to register her single take of the evening. It is a much different format than the four-song extravaganza that she was a part of last year.

Her version of Patti LaBelle’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Know” drew a standing ovation from the crowd. It gave the 28-year-old substitute teacher an ear-to-ear grin as she went back into the contestant’s staging area with a high that could only come from performing.

And while she does in fact have her fan club that includes her mother and grandmother, her husband Chuck serves as the honest one and helps her polish up something or tell her which songs help match her vocal range. It is a perfect balance that doesn’t tip her too far either direction.

With country music as her favorite, learning new tracks like the one performed Wednesday can take just about all week with a little bit of rehearsing right up until she grabs the microphone and gives everything she has in an attempt to blow the judges away.

“I just love singing – even doing karaoke is one of my favorite things to do,” Hoagland said. “I’ve made a lot of great friends doing this over the last two years, and I’m really happy that this is something that I decided to do.”
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