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Billie Jean is Dreama Diaz style
Idol contestant Amanda Fleig performs “Alone” onstage during Wednesday’s Manteca Idol competition. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Video might have killed the radio star.

But it didn’t stop Dreama Diaz from taking possibly one of the most famous music video songs of all time with Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and running with it to advance to the next round of the Manteca Idol competition Wednesday at Chez Shari.

While she didn’t have her own disco floor to light up like Michael did in the classic video, Diaz timed her own dance steps that helped in her winning over the affection of the crowd and moving on to the next round as Manteca Junior Idol contestant.

The competition is now heating up as the remaining contestants – Dawn Thomas was the lone Manteca Idol hopeful to leave Wednesday while Larissa McElroy had to leave the Junior Idol competition and therefore none of those contestants were released – battle it for the Top 5 spots that will return every week until the Manteca Boys and Girls Club Telethon on Nov. 23.

And while Diaz did have the period down pat, it was Kaylie Dotson – another Junior Idol contestant – that appeared with the all-out 80’s garb that included crimped hair and bright colors as she performed “My Lips Are Sealed” by the Go-Go’s.

On a personal level, the choice of music had me reminiscing to the songs that would be in constant rotation on the radio as my mother would drive us around town. I’m pretty sure some of those songs are on cassettes somewhere in my parents’ attic, and at least two of them are on my iPod right now.

This was definitely a trip down memory lane.

It would be Brian Rodrigues that carried my favorite tune of the night with Poison’s “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” – an acoustic version of which Bret Michaels performed in Stockton during the County Fair. He hit almost every note of the song to elicit a strong crowd response.

Annie Banks picked what was probably the most relevant of all 80’s tunes picked – Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” that will forever be remembered by those who grew up listening to CD’s as the song that ended The Sopranos – and rocked the side ponytail better than anybody since my 1989 classic picture.

Both Trisha Checketts and Judi Hoagland managed to impress with the same song – “Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pan Benetar – while Katelyn Johnson absolutely killed Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”

But, again, it would be Brieanne Jansen – who artfully picked Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” that perfectly matched her vocal range and style – that stole the show with a performance that just might have been the her best of the year.

And with future weeks coming that will include Bugglegum Pop, British Invasion, and Broadway tunes, things are definitely going to get interesting as singers are tested in their preparation and their style.

Those who missed Wednesday’s tunes will get a free chance on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. at the Library Park Gazebo to hear some of the singers belt out some of their favorite tunes as part of the Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis Pumpkin Fair.

It’s not something that you’re going to want to miss, and it’ll only help set your Wednesday nights for the rest of the year. The weekly event benefits the Boys & Girls Club, costs $5, and it starts at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the golf course clubhouse at Chez Shari.