Laney Ribota went from “scared” to relief.
She was voted the Sierra Idol winner Wednesday for her performance of “I’m Scared.”
Ribota, a Sierra High junior, was among the eight finalists in the second-ever competition held inside the school cafeteria. Emma Hunter was second while Kellani Arnold took third place.
“You drew the audience in with your performance,” said Mellissa Viss of the winner.
Viss is the retired choir teacher at the school and one of the three judges. She worked alongside drama teacher Sarah Frase and school counselor Paul Bennett.
“The pressure was off us since we didn’t vote,” said Frase.
She was familiar with Ribota’s work in acting rather than singing. But Frase was impressed with Ribota taking the song made popular by Duffy and making it her own.
“You brought life to that song,” she said.
Ribota, who decided on the song “I’m Scared” about three days before the competition, admitted being at bit scared at the outset of her performance.
She had a different tune after being announced as the winner.
“I’m relieved,” said Ribota, who also took first-place prize of the Sony iPod Nano.
Hunter and Arnold were awarded gift cards.
The other finalists were Geleeza Idolyantes, Brooke Becker, Amy Dias, Maddie Williams, and Alexis Clark.
They were among the field of 20, which, according to Adrian Williams and Raquel Baudrit – they served as co-hosts of the event – survived two sing-offs.
About 50 auditioned for a chance at school stardom.
“This is a singing contest and not a popularity contest,” said choir teacher Daniel Talcott to the audience prior to the competition.
He also welcomed back last year’s winner Cheyenne Milligan, who performed Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.”