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Hoyts singing in Manteca Idol is stylish
IDOL FEATURE2-10-29-09
Shellie Hoyt performs on stage during Wednesday’s Manteca Idol competition. - photo by HIME ROMERO


• WHAT: Manteca Idol
• WHEN: Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
• WHERE: Chez Shari on second floor of Manteca Golf Course clubhouse
• MORE INFO: Call the Boys & Girls Club at 239-KIDS

Singing has always come naturally for 24-year-old Shellie Hoyt.

Growing up in a Christian home with music as a big part of her upbringing, singing came naturally for Hoyt – the oldest of four children that vividly remembers learning the piano with her mother and singing while in church.

And she shared her passion for music with those that were close to her.

“Music has always been a really big part of my life and my upbringing,” Hoyt said. “I remember teaching my little brothers the words to songs – I was really into music.”

In her first foray into the world of competitive performing, Hoyt has made the roster of an impressive grouping of finalists. Half of them already had experience competing in the Manteca Idol competition in the past.

While the weekly dismissals were part of the deal, Hoyt said that it didn’t feel at all like a competition until everybody had to go out before the judges. The backstage vibe amongst the singers, she said, was more than accommodating and overwhelmingly positive.

“A lot of these guys knew the other singers from doing this is the past and this is my first time and I didn’t at all feel like an outsider,” she said. “You really got to know the people that you were singing with, and there were some real tears shed backstage some nights.”

For the majority of the competition Hoyt says that she’s picked mainly Christian songs – the performing of which she views as a form of worship – and found herself slightly out of her comfort zone when the judges handed her Pat Benetar’s “Heartbreaker” to sing on Wednesday night.

“I was definitely out of my element when I did that,” she said laughingly. “I was raised on country music and Christian music, and that definitely is a departure from that genre.”

When she isn’t practicing her upcoming takes Hoyt says she likes to put on swing music or oldies and dance around with her two-year old daughter Ally – who has fun watching her mom get ready for the competition.

With the support of her husband David, Hoyt says she has really loved the opportunity of being involved with Manteca Idol and getting to perform some of the songs that she holds close to her heart.

“I got to pick a lot of songs that had personal meaning, and I was able to embody those songs more when I was performing them,” she said. “I just feel really comfortable when I’m up on stage.

“It’s fun being up there.”