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Caliber of singers makes Manteca Idol worth following
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The opening week of the Manteca Idol finals showed us some of the performances that have made the singing competition – which doubles as a Manteca Boys and Girls Club fundraiser – something worth following.

And it was one of the returning Idol contestants and the singer that followed her that truly set the tone for the evening.

Opting for a high-back chair to sit on when she sang “If We Hold on Together” from The Land Before Time, longtime fan favorite Brieanne Jansen impressed everybody with a stirring take on a longtime movie classic.

And when Adrianna Solis sang “Only Hope” from A Walk To Remember, she turned in one of the best top-to-bottom performances of the entire night.

The one-two punch between  the Manteca Idol contestants showed not only what the contest is all about, but also the talent that the singers who are in this year’s competition brings to the table.

They weren’t the only ones who impressed the judges and those in the crowd.

It was 11-year-old Jessica Ferree that took Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” that was featured in the movie Shrek and sang the entire thing a cappella – easily the longest performance of the entire night and one of the most impressive.

Natasha Martin also managed to make the most of her performance with “Outside of Love” from Hercules with a stage presence that made it very clear that she was more than comfortable singing on stage in front of a relatively packed house.

And what about Judi Hoagland’s performance of Bette Middler’s “Stuff Like That There” from For The Boys – where she firmly established herself as one of the more fun stage performers of the entire competition? She not only sings incredibly well, but also gets involved with the crowd and makes everybody want to follow along with her every step of the way.

Robyn Glover showed why she has quickly become a crowd favorite with her performance of “Honey Bun” from the Broadway hit and movie South Pacific.

Glover dressed up in a Navy outfit that looked strikingly like the dress whites worn by enlisted men – donning the cap and the blue tie around her neck as she worked her way across the entire stage with a well-rehearsed rendition of a classic.

All in all, it was a good night for the competition’s first finals event, even though Jessica Munoz unfortunately didn’t earn enough votes from the judges to progress on to the next week.

But there’s a chance for the remaining contestants to make a lasting impression on the judges the next time they step up to the stage and try their hand at turning in the best performance possible.

The talent is there. The excitement is there. And it’s more than worth the $5 entry fee to see what these talented young girls are going to belt out when they get their chance to shine.

If you haven’t made it out yet, it’s not too late to come support the Boys and Girls Club and some of the best young performers that Manteca has to offer.

Hope to see you there.