MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- The “stars” came out and performed for station residents during the 2013 M.C. Perry Idol event at the Matthew C. Perry High School gymnasium here, April 27, 2013.
The event is a play on the world-renowned “American Idol,” where contestants compete in song for a record contract. Twelve acts participated in the talent show, and instead of just singing as is the case with “American Idol,” the talents included Taiko Drums, a dance routine and a guitar performance.
The three winners were the dance troupe, Maya and Da Boyz, who placed first, Musashi Doreus, who placed second with a taiko drum performance, and Ashley Starnes and Dana Alfafara, who placed third with a mash up of the two songs, both called “Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran and Sixpence None the Richer.
“Even though we’re a small school, both elementary and high school, we have some pretty skilled and talented kids here,” said Shannon Gilbert, M.C. Perry Idol executive producer and high school senior. “It’s not surprising to see that variety.”
The event was a high school seniorsponsored event involving students ensuring the event happens. Though the show went off without a hitch, much went into the production to make it a success.
“I put this talent show on with the help of 70 people and the help of my senior class advisor,” said Gilbert.
The event consisted not just of high school students, but elementary students as well. The students spent several weeks preparing for the night by auditioning and putting together their acts.
“People auditioned a month ago, over the course of four days and after that, they practiced, got their music together, had rehearsal and then we put on a show,” said Gilbert.
Though the students were the focal point of the event, it would not have been as successful without the local station community.
“It’s nice to see the community is interested in what the school has going on,” said Gilbert.
The feeling of possible embarrassment may have steered some students to not take part in the talent show, but that should not have been the case as every contestant, whether young or old, was cheered by those in attendance when they finished their performances.
“I didn’t think I would’ve gotten as much (applause) as I did,” said Sidney Stephens, M.C. Perry senior and Perry Idol contestant, who was cheered on when he performed a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.” “It’s nothing to get embarrassed about. If you just sit there and make yourself do it, it’s actually really simple.”
Stephens likened it to performing for a small crowd or in front of his family.
“It’s pretty much (for me) playing in front of one or two people or singing in front of one or two people.”
The stars shined brightly above MCAS Iwakuni that night, but the “stars” of the stage shone even brighter at the event’s conclusion, when all participants were presented a resounding ovation from those in attendance.