Burlingame contest will spotlight local idols 

When Lori Moitie sits at the judges’ table looking for Burlingame’s next Idol, she is looking for passion and the ability to stand on one’s own.

“I know right away when someone walks onstage how they’re going to be,” she said. “If they are timid and shy they’ll be stiff, but if they walk out strong and confident it’s going to be good.”

Moitie, along with R.J. Johnson and Nicky Garrett, will be back at the judges’ table in May to watch 12 people perform in four age groups to determine the next Burlingame Idol.

Auditions for the show’s second year begin Monday. There will be four categories contestants can participate in: 5- to 10-year-olds, 11- to 14-year-olds, 15- to 39-year-olds and 40 years old and older.

Contestants will have the opportunity to try out for one of 12 spots — three in each category — to appear in the final show before the judges and a live audience May 22.

Cathy Foxhoven, organizer of the contest, said she wanted to give opportunity for local people to express their talents.

Foxhoven expects the number of people trying out to be Burlingame’s Idol to increase this year. She said roughly 20 people tried out last year. With one week before the first auditions begin, 30 have already signed up and another 20 have inquired about rules and auditions via e-mail.

Burlingame’s Idol may take its form from the popular TV show “American Idol,” but instead of criticizing of performers, Foxhoven said she wanted judges with musical experience to give critiques on how to improve.

Moitie and Johnson are local performers who often work with children in a show known as “Kids’ Music with a Groove,” and Garrett was a part of the 1970s British rock band U.K. Subs.

Foxhoven said Garrett may have the accent, but does not have the attitude of Simon Cowell on “American Idol.”

Moitie said the three have been brought together to mimic the original “American Idol” judges, but they have their own personality and style.

“R.J. is a consummate musician,” she said. “Except he doesn’t say ‘Yo, dawg.’ Our goal is actually to be very positive with these kids. They are already making a wonderful effort.”

Winners in each category will receive gift certificates to restaurants and admission to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. They will also be able to perform throughout the year at Burlingame festivals.

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How to try out for Burlingame Idol:

- Sign up with the Burlingame Parks and Recreation Department
- Receive an audition time on Tuesday night for the next 5 weeks
- Practice and prepare to sing for the three judges May 22
- Divisions: 5-10 years old; 11-14 years old; 15-39 years old; 40 and older
- Prizes: Gift certificates to restaurants and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Source: Burlingame Idol

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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