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Hoyt, Banks capture 2009 Idol crowns
Former Manteca idol contestants Jordan Renfro, left, and Cheyenne Milligan performed during the Boys & Girls Club Telethon Monday. - photo by HIME ROMERO

The Manteca Idol torch has been passed.

After months of weekly performances that required both extensive preparation and dedication, two Manteca singers – Shellie Hoyt and Annie Banks – were honored at Chez Shari as titles winners for the Manteca Idol and the first annual Manteca Junior Idol.

They will perform tonight at the Boys & Girls Club Telethon between 7 and 8 p.m. You can drop by the club at 545 W. Alameda, watch on the Internet by going to or tune in Comcast Channel 97.

Hoyt competed over the course of the last month against a field of four other singers – Amanda Fleig (second place), Katelyn Johnson (third place), Trisha Checketts (fourth place), and Brian Rodrigues – after being selected as finalist in a revised format of the competition created as a fundraiser and awareness-promotion tool for the Boys and Girls Club of Manteca.

Rodrigues was forced to drop out of the competition last week after he was hospitalized with the flu. He was the second finals candidate this year who was forced to withdraw after Brieanne Jansen informed the judges that she wouldn’t be able to make all of the dates required because of a family emergency. Her departure brought back Checketts and finalized the field of finals candidates.

Banks took home the first ever Manteca Junior Idol title after several years of competing in an open format that pitted even the youngest singers against the established veterans. The new Idol format adopted in February placed all of the singers 12 and under into a separate category.

Two other young singers – Danielle Osoteo (third place) and Kaylie Dotson (second place) – were finalists in the Junior Idol category.

Hoyt performed Keith Urban’s “Only You Can Love Me This Way” as her song of choice as well as Heart’s “Magic Man” as selected by the panel of judges. Banks opted for “God Help The Outcasts” from the Hunchbak of Norte Dame while tackling the judge’s choice of Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi.”

And the night was also a source of encouragement to some the rising stars and current favorites that didn’t get to walk away with the formal title.

Receiving special awards were Hoyt (the first ever Dark Horse award); Dotson (the Shining Star award); Osoteo (the Diva award); Fleig (the Broadway Baby award); Johnson (the Versatility Award); Banks (the Bufferfly award); Checketts (the Comic Relief award); Judi Hoagland (Miss Congeniality); Lizzie Acosta (Punk Rock Princess); Lucia Barragan (the Sweetness Award); Dreama Diaz (the Cute As A Bug award.)

Both Hoyt and Dotson also received free recording time at the studio of Mike Torres Jr.

The contests themselves voted Checketts – who earned the nickname “Ralph” from her backstage colleagues – the winner of the first ever Spirit Award.

To contact Jason Campbell, e-mail, or call (209) 249-3544.