Contenders are gearing up for the 11th Annual Brandon Idol contest that gets under way Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. for teens and at 7 p.m. for adults. The public is invited to attend both contests at the Brandon Elks Lodge.
Both events are collectively known as the Momentum Festival and this year’s benefiting charity is the Brandon Family YMCA.
"All net proceeds go to the Brandon Y," said Diana Niles, development coordinator for the Brandon Family YMCA, at 3097 Kingsway Road in Seffner. "Together we can make a good community a great one."
David Loebig has been with the effort since Brandon Idol launched 11 years ago as a one-time event on behalf of Arlene Waldron in her successful bid to become that year's honorary mayor of Brandon.
Brandon Idol Teen contestants will compete in one of two categories: ages 10-13 and ages 14-17.
Brandon Idol adult contestants have been selected at auditions held at various Greater Brandon venues over the past two months.
In addition to the awarding of the idol crown, attendees cast votes for the People’s Choice Award.
Cost to attend Brandon Idol is $25 (which is $5 less than last year's event). To attend Brandon Idol Teen, the cost is $15 for adults and $5 for children under age 18. The Brandon Elks Lodge is at 800 Centennial Lodge Drive in Brandon.
This year, though, a $10 discount is being offered for the evening, adult, show. To purchase a ticket for $15, go to one of the two ticket outlets "and purchase anything, even just a coke," as noted in the event flier.
There are two ticket outlets in Brandon: the Clubhouse Sports Cafe, 1265 Kingsway Road, and the Shrimp Warehouse, 779 West Lumsden Road. Make checks payable to "Momentum Festival."
Neat Facts About Brandon Idol and Last Year's Contest
- Brandon Idol has been a fundraiser to help community efforts since its start in 2001, as an event hosted by Arlene Waldron in what would become her successful bid for honorary mayor of Brandon. The mayoral race is run each year in June, with the new mayor “elected” based on the candidate who raises the most money for local charities, including the Community Roundtable and the charities selected by each candidate.
- Over the past couple years, Brandon Idol has expanded, with a Brandon Idol Teen competition held for middle and high school students. Both idol contests are now part of the Momentum Festival held annually.
- The 2011 Brandon Idol winner was Maura Mazzer, who also took home the crown in 2005. In second place was Tammy Groff, the 2006 Idol winner. In third place, Alexander Shaw IV. The People’s Choice Award went to Chris Halfman. Mazzer sang, “I Am What I Am,” from the musical "La Cage Aux Folles,” and then ended the show with her rendition of “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” from “Funny Girl."
- Joining Mazzer, Groff, Shaw and Halfman in the 2011 Brandon Idol contest were singers Pedro Amaral, Brittany Brown, Racquel Elliot, James Hemenway, Lazarus Lastres, Britt Lobato, Jonathan Mousset, Erica Saenz and Beyoncie Staley.