Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Upper Valley Idol 2014

For the past 10 years Rexburg has hosted Upper Valley Idol. It's been a great event for the community and hundreds of local performers have competed for the title of UVI.  Avery has wanted to tryout for several years but there have always been conflicts with the dates. This year, about a week before the first audition she decided she would participate!

The day of the auditions was the first day that Kirk and I were leaving on our cruise so she went to the audition with my parents and some of her friends..... we didn't really know what the next few weeks would bring or we may have prepared sooner! Over 100 people (ages 12-18) came to the first audition. Avery was thrilled to make it into the first round as one of 22 people.

  She began immediately working with Elizabeth Bossard (BOSS) to get her song ready. The first week of the show she sang Orange Color Sky. She did an amazing job and we were so proud of her. The competition was tough, and like most competitions you just never know what's going to happen.  We were hoping that she would make it to the next round, but also fearful that she would.... Mitchell had a karate competition in Utah the next weekend and we had already planned the trip. Plus, she didn't have another song ready :). I guess the judges and the audience (25% of the judging was done by audience voting through donations) loved her as much as we did- and she was one of 14 chosen to continue to the next week.

Week One: Avery Performing Orange Color Sky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW7_eNI-grc

The next week was full of song choices, school, end of the trimester, gymnastics, and everything else that we can fit in. She choose a song that she was already familiar with because she knew practice time was limited. Kirk and I left for Utah with Mitchell on Friday morning and left her in the very capable and supportive arms of my parents (Chris and Barbara Mann are pretty incredible parents/grandparents- who not only brought flowers and gifts to each performance, but stayed up making posters and writing notes of encouragement). Wyatt also wanted to stay home and support Avery- I've rarely seen a brother who is so fiercely loyal to a sister; listen to the video and you can hear him cheering and hollering for Avery.  The second week she sang "Who Says" (Selena Gomez)- and looked so darling on stage. She hasn't really had any experience performing on stage- she once did a talent show for the ward Christmas party, and this was only her second time; but she was a natural.

Week Two: Avery Performing "Who Says" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcP8VW-jeK0

At this point in the competition, we knew only six would be advancing into the finals. I was on the phone with my mom as they were announcing the winners and it was fun to be a part of it even though I wasn't there. We were so excited for her, and she could hardly get to sleep that night.
The Final Six

For the next week she had to choose two different songs. It took several days to decide what to sing and it wasn't until Tuesday and Wednesday that she started to learn them. She has also been on the Jr. High dance team and had dance recitals and final performances that week. Needless to say, she was exhausted and stretched. Each day she would go to Elizabeth's house to practice. Boss has been a fixture in the community with music for decades and we are so blessed to have her as part of our lives- FYI: I've known Boss since I was young, and over the past decade have become best friends with her daughter Angela. After singing Avery would run to dance or gymnastics, go to Young Women's activities, work on homework, and eventually get to bed. We kept reminding ourselves to help her prepare earlier for things like this so we aren't so ragged by the end of the week.
Avery and Boss

On the day of the Finals she woke up a little sick and was stressed about performing. She was the youngest one in the group (by about three years), and was getting anxious. But, in typical Avery style she stepped up to the plate and did an amazing job. The judges were so kind to her and gave her great encouragement and suggestions to improve her performances. As a mother I couldn't believe the talent that this child of mine possesses.  I suppose all moms have a difficult time expressing how their hearts skip a beat when they watch their children shine, but it was a feeling of pride and joy.

Week Three (FINALS) First Song: Mean- Taylor Swift: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbFdwXRVKE4
 Last Song of the Competition: Gimme Gimme from Thoroughly Modern Millie 

Avery didn't win but she says she wants to  do Upper Valley Idol again. I gave Avery the same advice I was given by my dad in 8th grade the first time before I went before a panel of judges: "Win or Lose, Don't let your self-worth be determined by a panel of judges."


  1. I guess I don't know how to make the links "live"..... I'll work on that!

  2. Fun to read, watch, and experience from a tangential angle!