If you don’t know the name Kajal Kapoor, you will soon! Kajal, an eighth grader brand new to Wheatley, just won this year’s Wheatley Idol! On Friday, November 16th, the Wheatley Tri M Honor Society hosted its 14th annual Wheatley Idol competition. Wheatley Idol is Wheatley’s annual singing competition that is based on the popular show, American Idol. This competition is always filled with dedicated and amazing singers from grades eight through twelve. Nine singers were selected by members of the Tri M Honor Society to take part in the competition. The vocalists spend hours rehearsing and preparing for parents, friends, and faculty to see them perform during the competition. Additionally, Tri M members and Ms. Luftig put in hours of decorating and organizing to make sure the competition runs smoothly.
Wheatley Idol is an exciting event for all who attend, as the audience members are the ones that ultimately decides who is crowned the winner. The competition is split into two parts. In the first part of the competition, the nine selected singers perform in front of three judges. This year’s judges were Ms. Calvagno, Mr. Gadamowitz, and Mr. Orlovsky. These judges kept the show lively and fun, while giving their critiques to vocalists. After the judges decide who moves on to the second part, the singers perform again and then the audience votes on the remaining contestants. The contestant with the most audience votes wins Wheatley Idol.
To entertain the audience and to help keep contestants calm before performing, two hosts are selected to run the show. This year, juniors Brenda Zhong and Ashley Vincenzo were the Wheatley Idol hosts.
The contestants this year were all extremely talented and great performers. In addition, many of the contestants had the experience of performing in the show in previous years. This year’s contestants, in the order they performed, were Charlotte Iannone (8th grade), Julia Dioguardi (12th grade), Sarah Amselem (12th grade), Brianna Werny (10th grade), Jaime Behar (9th grade), Kajal Kapoor (8th grade), Kritika Prajapati (9th grade), Emma Melnikov (10th grade), and Shruti Goyal (10th grade).
The contestants sang top hits by artists including Rihanna, Billie Eilish, Carrie Underwood, and Sia. The genres of the songs that were performed ranged from pop to broadway show tunes. After singers performed, the judges made their selection on who would move on. Usually, there are three vocalists that move on to the next part of the show. Although, this year, the judges had such a difficult time deciding, that they sent four singers to the next round. These singers were Kajal, Emma, Brianna and Shruti. Each singer sang gorgeously and put their own unique rendition to the song they selected. When the second round of singing came to an end, the audience members had a difficult decision to make. Each member of the audience was to vote for one of the singers in the second round to be crowned the next Wheatley Idol. Votes were then counted by Tri M members and Kajal Kapoor was announced the winner of Wheatley Idol.
Kajal finished off the show with a final performance of the song “Hallelujah.” Like all of the other songs performed, this last performance was very expressive and beautifully sung. The judges and audience members were astonished by her voice and couldn’t believe that such a powerful sound came out of her. Kajal explained that she really wasn’t expecting to win Wheatley Idol because there were so many talented and beautiful individuals that performed that night. She also stated that Wheatley Idol was an extraordinary experience and she is appreciative of the audience members who made the night special.
Congratulations to Kajal and all of the contestants in Wheatley Idol for a fantastic show. If you love to sing and would like to perform in Wheatley Idol, look to audition in October next year. Or you could share you musical talent this spring in Wheatley’s Got Talent!