BELLEVILLE — Brothers Freddie Rice, a senior at Belleville East High School, and Spencer Rice, a seventh grader at Wolf Branch, won top honors in their respective age divisions at the Sixth Annual Junior Idol competition Saturday.
The contest was part of the 29th Annual Chili Cook-Off in downtown Belleville.
More than 50 young people auditioned in August for a chance to perform on the main stage at this year's Junior Idol competition. The contestants were broken down into two age divisions: ages 10-13 and ages 14-17.
The finals on Saturday featured the top five finalists from each of the two divisions. The judges scored them on their pitch, diction, technique and other factors, such as stage presence and song choice.
The other finalists in the 10-13 year old age were: Lauren Cerbin from St. Teresa School in Belleville; Caroline Gagen from Freeburg Elementary; Alexa Heyd from Mascoutah Middle School, and Jordan Riney from Liberty Middle School in Glen Carbon.
The other finalists in the 14-17 year old age division were: Olivia Bosaw from Triad High School; Erin McCarkle from Althoff Catholic High School; LeeAnna Studt from Belleville East High School, and Megan Wiegert from O'Fallon Township High School.
Judging the finals in this year's competition were Robert Howard, conductor and music director, Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale; Felicia Kenney-Brown, music teacher, Belleville Public School District 118; Peter J. Palermo, director, Hettenhausen Center for the Arts at McKendree University, and Sally A. Flood, professional singer and dancer.