SDSS Royal Idol 2017
... a tough decision with so much talent
by Tiffany Wilson

January 19, 2017

A & E

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Royal Idol 2017 judges (l to r) Margaret Wysman, Bud Halpin and Mike Laing

Top 3
 (l to r) Amelia Willson (3rd place), Gracienne Swarbrick (Idol) and Jeff Hastings (2nd place)

And the winner of the 2017 Royal Idol is … Gracienne Swarbrick, who gave the crowd chills during her beautiful and powerful rendition of Skyfall by Adele.

Gracienne Swarbrick, performing Skyfall by Adele ...

and then finding out she won Royal Idol 2017!

 Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) vocal class held its 3rd annual Royal Idol “Hits of the 2000’s - Present” Wednesday (Jan. 18) afternoon where eight contestants took to the stage and competed for the Royal Idol title. 

Similar to American Idol, Royal Idol had an MC, Mr. Ferguson and three judges, math teacher Margaret Wysman, construction technology teacher Bud Haplin, and science and mathematics teacher Dr. Mike Laing who all gave incredible and thoughtful feedback to the contestants, almost as if they were musicians/artists themselves. 
Hanna Lynch (Gr. 2-12)sang Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men and wowed the crowd with not only her youkulele playing, but also her beautifully toned voice

Contestant Aspen Chapman (Gr. 12) sang a breathtaking version of My Church by Maren Morris capturing the crowd's attention from beginning to end. Before hitting the stage, however, Chapman explained that getting there was not a walk in the park. 

 “[Fourteen of us] had to go through a whole audition process,” she said. “We had to fill out a form that asked [us an array of questions ranging from], what our hobbies were, what grade we were in, and you would had to pick two songs that were contrasting.” 

Chapman’s second song she chose for the audition process was Somebody Like You by Adele which she said was a “slower-pop” compared to the “up-beat country song” she sang for the competition.

“During this project, I’ve learned to control my voice more, so when I am on stage now it’s different … it’s natural, it doesn’t scare me by any means,” she said, adding some encouraging words, “even when you mess up, keep a poker-face on and keep going with it no matter what.”  


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During soundcheck Wednesday morning, Jeff Hastings (Gr. 2-12) rehearsed the song he was performing, 'Like This' by Shawn Mendes

Jack Flarity (Gr. 12) had the crowd dancing when he sang Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band

Royal Idol contestants included:
.Hanna Lynch (Little Talks of Monsters & Men) 
.Amelia Willson (Send My Love by Adele)
.Jack Flarity (Chicken Fried)
.Maddie Hobson (I’m Yours by Jason Mraz )
.Alyssa Garrod (Stay by Rhianna)

.Jeff Hastings (Like This by Shawn Mendes)
.Aspen Chapman (My Church by Maren Morris)
.Gracienne Swarbrick (Skyfall by Adele)

Royal Idol is a part of the SDSS vocal class culminating project.  "Along with the final performance exam, the students were to put together a successful performance, going through all the required steps," said SDSS music teacher Kerri Lynn Boys in an interview during rehearsals Wednesday morning.  “From being a contestant, to being on the audition committee, to set-up and sound, everyone had a role.”  

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Thursday, January 19, 2017