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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Political Science Major Herron Wins Seventh Annual Ole Miss Idol

Every year, students bring their best to the stage in the hopes of winning the annual Ole Miss Idol competition.

The last round was held at 7 p.m. last night in the Ole Miss Student Union food court.

There, the crowd gathered to hear the talented finalists sing their hearts out in hopes of winning the title.

The singers had stiff competition coming from the six finalists: Tiffany Boyte, LaTonya Herron, Britney Helmick, Jacob Hickman, Lovetta Oguhebe and Lawrence Walker.

Since the competition started with almost 40 applicants, the finalists were excited to be performing in the final round. Each performer sang two songs of their choice, which included Michael Buble, Tina Turner and even some Broadway hits.

“I wanted to bring a different vibe to the audience, and let them be influenced by different genres,” Walker said.

The audience went wild as each contestant sang a new song.

“The audience interaction is my favorite part,” sophomore audience member Alexis Davis said.

The final round named Herron the winner of the seventh annual Ole Miss Idol.

Herron won over the audience with her moving rendition of “Hero” by Mariah Carey. In the second act, she brought them to their feet with the Broadway classic “Summertime” from the musical Porgy and Bess.

With the title comes a $500 reward, along with the opportunity to perform at various events on campus throughout the year. Herron, who is blind, said that she would be putting the $500 reward to purchasing a Braille printer.

The five judges for this competition were Jennifer Taylor, Katherine Burkett, Neal Ann Parker, Ryan Upshaw, Norm Easterbrook and David Steele.

Taylor, the director of Student Programming, was pleased with this year’s Ole Miss Idol outcome.

“This is a great way for students to showcase their talent,” she said about the competition.

Judges were also pleased with the large audience turnout.

Each contestant was judged in five separate categories that were worth various points according to how important the judges thought they were.

Vocal performance topped this list being valued at 15 points. Next, at 10 points, was stage presence.

Then, the following three categories were each worth up to five points: appearance, crowd response and knowledge of material.

“The final round is difficult because there is so much talent,” Upshaw said. “It really comes down to song choice.”

No matter what aspect they thought was most important, it was obvious that every judge enjoyed the show.

“I enjoyed getting to watch contestants instead of be judged,” Burkett said.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Ole Miss Idol has been a part of the Ole Miss community.

It is put on by the Student Programming Board, which is in charge of coordinating many events for students throughout the year.

from DM by Madison Featherston