Evergreen Country Idol semi-finalists perform

Kela Stelzig growled out renditions of Why Havent I Heard From You? and Independence Day. -
Kela Stelzig growled out renditions of Why Havent I Heard From You? and Independence Day.
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ARLINGTON A dozen area hopefuls took to the Beehive Stage July 21, as the Variety House of Arlington presented its Evergreen Country Idol qualifiers.
Variety House owner Linda Follett attributed the diversity of talent on the outdoor stage to the fact that the Variety House is the only venue for the Evergreen Country Idol contest in which ages 16-21 can participate.
All 12 singers who performed July 21 have already earned themselves places in the Variety Houses Aug. 2 semi-finals, which will be followed by Aug. 4 finals at the former Arlington High School Auditorium. However, Follett emphasized that the July 21 concert was still important for the contestants, since points toward the semi-finals would be awarded to the audiences top three favorites.
Katrina Ryder of Arlington, one of the first qualifiers for the semi-finals, was also the first performer to take to the stage, with bare feet and renditions of Its a Little Too Late and Fallin that Follett deemed like a hurricane. Fabian Cordoba followed, taking advantage of the fact that one of his two songs could be a non-country song, by belting out Heartache Tonight and Picking Wildflowers.
Singings not exactly my forte, Cordoba said. But its starting to be real quick.
When 18-year-old Hannah Woolman took to the stage, Follett commended her for her perseverance, noting that it took Woolman several nights to qualify. Woolman then shimmied across the stage with her versions of Black Horse and a Cherry Tree and Candy.
Follett reminded the audience that Mondays at 7 p.m. are the Variety Houses belly-dancing classes, before introducing area resident Steve Clark, whose John Deere T-shirt suited his crooning of My Tractors Sexy, followed by Real Good Man. Arlington native Rebecca Woolman had never been on stage in front of so many people before, but that didnt stop her from bouncing to the beat as she sang Goodbye Earl and I Try to Think About Elvis.
While Aaron Willsie prefers to strum on his bass guitar, he demonstrated his vocal skills with That Thing You Do and Amazed, dancing along to the music. Follett went on afterward to plug the Variety Houses karaoke nights, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m.
Puyallups Samantha Ballard swung her hips as she declared herself a Redneck Woman, before breaking into Because of You. Arlingtons Scott Follett, not to be outdone, proudly likened Arlington to the Hick Town in the song of the same name and then performed Brand New Girlfriend.
Peace Israel, normally a pianist, broadened his horizons by singing Wonderwall and Desperado. Heidi Woolman was one of two 16-year-olds in the concert, and even though she admitted to being nervous, she strutted across the stage with Before He Cheats and Like a Prayer.
Fellow 16-year-old Chelsea Reed had been encouraged to enter the contest by her mother, Kela Stelzig, also a semi-finalist. While Chelsea delivered brassy performances of Heres for the Party and Leave the Pieces, Kela growled out renditions of Why Havent I Heard From You? and Independence Day.
Potential contestants can still qualify for the semi-finals July 26 at 8 p.m. at the Variety House. To learn more, call 360-435-7846.

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