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Idol contestants shine during second night of competition
Special guest Manteca’s Reggie Ginn performed during intermission during Wednesday’s second installment of the Manteca Idol competion held at Chez Shari. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Brian Rodrigues had every reason in the world to back out of his decision to be a part of this year’s Manteca Idol competition.

He did, after all, just welcome a baby girl into the world two days ago.

But rather than sitting the second week of the talent contest out, Rodrigues paid tribute by polishing up the old Temptations track “My Girl” and in turn spinning one of the best performances of the night – sending him straight to the finals.

And like last year, it looks like he’ll find himself amidst a sea of competition as the Idol contestants gear up for another year of the Boys and Girls Club fundraiser that culminates on the first night of the organization’s annual telethon in November.

Joining him will be contest newcomer Shellie Hoyt who set the bar exceptionally high when selecting Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You” and returning Idol singer Amanda Fleig who took a shot at the jazz standard “My Funny Valentine” that has been covered by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Miles Davis.

With a deep run into last year’s finals under her belt, Fleig was ready for the iconic tune that she challengingly had to turn in after halftime performer and Idol alum Reggie Ginn (who performed as Mary Wells during her back-to-back Idol runs) stole the show with a rendition of “White Rabbit” that Grace Slick herself would have approved of.

Hoyt was spot on with the McLachlan track that easily qualified as one of the best three of the night to secure her finals spot and round out the first six people who will be qualified to sing in the finals – joining the three that moved on last week and the future automatic finalists as well as those who make it through the Wild Card round on Sept. 2.

It’s still early, and the final playing field isn’t even halfway set.

But getting the chance to see the future stars of tomorrow making their case today is one of the best parts of the early competition where strong performances set the tone for the rest of the competition.

Appearing next week will be Idol Contestants Mickey Lee, Maddie Banks, Angelina Castillo, Chasee Finley, Lyndi Webb, Casey Rice, and Brianne Jansen. Lizzy Acosta and Dreama Diaz will be the Junior Idol contestants that will each qualify to compete for their own separate title at the end of the season.