Published February 5, 2013
And the new Fraser Idol is …
By Maria Allard firstname.lastname@example.org
FRASER — There’s a new music idol in town.
Her name is Francesca “Frankie” Gianetti, and on the evening of Feb. 1, the Fraser High School junior was named this year’s “Fraser Idol” inside the school’s auditorium.
Gianetti sang the original song “Buried Beneath The Snow” with members of the band Ohana, of which she is a member, backing her.
“Oh, my gosh,” Gianetti said moments after her victory. “I’m just glad our music is out there. I’m just happy people liked us.”
Gianetti, who said she has been singing since she “could make noise,” won a $100 Meijer gift card and the honor of being chosen Fraser Idol.
Ohana is Gianetti, senior bassist Jake Cross, sophomore drummer and fellow Idol challenger Nick Calcaterra, freshman guitarist Robert Lindsay, and junior Julian Faraon, also an Idol competitor who played acoustic guitar and sang “Grand Optimist.”
Fraser Idol is based on the smash singing competition “American Idol,” which airs on the FOX Broadcasting Company. Eleven FHS students who each came with their own personal style competed against each other for the title, and educators Michelle Johnson, Chris Stanley and Huston Julian served as the show judges. The audience voted for their favorite contestant to pick a winner.
“Audience, you have a very difficult decision on your hands,” Julian said.
Audience members wrote down the number of their chosen singer and placed their votes in boxes student council members carried through the auditorium.
Social studies teacher Jim Socha, who hosted and organized the event, said this year’s competition was “the closest one in Fraser Idol history.” Gianetti won by three votes.
“It was great” Socha said of the evening. “Fraser has some of the best singing talent.”
The judges commented after each performance, minus the Simon Cowell jabs. After Gianetti’s performance, Johnson wanted to know when her album was coming out.
“Do they still call them albums?” Johnson joked. “Frankie, I love to hear you sing,” the judge said on a more serious note. “And the flair — you have it.”
“Your voice resonated with every note,” Julian said.
Faraon’s performance took Stanley back to his college days at Michigan State University.
Showstoppers Kazmira Eldaly and Shelby Phillips sure made country music fan Johnson happy with their country tunes; Eldaly sang “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert and the audience clapped along to Phillips while she performed Sugarland’s “Settlin’.”
Under the spotlight, Lauren Burnette took everyone to the Big Apple with Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.”
“As a Billy Joel aficionado, I’m a big fan of this song,” Stanley said. “It was extremely confident and very well rehearsed.”
“This is for all you Whitney Houston fans,” Kaley Richards said, as she stepped center stage to pay tribute to the late superstar with “I Will Always Love You,” a song Dolly Parton wrote.
With stage presence, Melissa Hughes, Pietra Grillo, Miranda Hopkins and Savana Justice also performed for the crowd.
Winner Gianetti is a fan of “American Idol,” and has watched this season, which began last month with three new judges.
“I like the soul, the soul that’s going on a lot of the voices,” she said.
Fraser Idol has become a tradition at the high school. It helps raise money for a field trip economics students take to Chicago. During the educational trip, the students participate in a scavenger hunt about economics. Socha said the next Windy City trip is scheduled for next year. A talent show in the fall also helps raise funds.