MICAELA RODRIGUEZ STEUBE
The students at Pinewood have endless talent, and senior Julia Owens is no exception. Owens has showcased her musical talents to the panther community before through Women’s Chorus and Pinewood Singers, but Owens’s performances don’t end there. From January to March of 2018, she performed in the South Bay Teen Idol, a competition determining the best adolescent singer in all of South Bay.
Owens originally encountered the competition via the internet.
“I was really interested in getting my singing out there so I looked up local competitions in the Bay Area, and South Bay Teen Idol popped up,” Owens said.
Owens was one of 600 singers to try out. The first audition was performing a 30-second section of a song in front of judges Robert Hayes, Sarah Hult, and Deegan Mack Adams. Hayes, manager of the band Smash Mouth, is a premier music licensing executive as well as the C.E.O. of Sound Management Inc. Hult, a previous Miss Nevada USA and Miss California Teen USA, is part of the Hult family, owners of Flights Restaurant. Starting off his work in music with Green Day and The Fray, Mack Adams is now producing artists in the Bay Area.
Owens was selected as one of 20 semi-finalists by the three judges. After being selected, she began spending hours practicing.
“Rehearsals started that Monday and went on for about a month until the show,” Owens said.
The following rounds of the rehearsal, contrary to auditions, had restrictions on which songs contestants could sing.
The performers had to prepare a song relevant to a given topic. Owens performed her rendition of “Be My Little Baby” by the Ronettes for her solo in the semi-finals, a song pertaining to the semi-final’s 50’s and 60’s theme. After the solo performances, the singers performed in small groups.Her group sang the Supremes’ 1965 song, “Stop in the Name of Love.” These performances earned Owens a spot among the 10 finalists, of which three were chosen as winners. The winners received prize money, as well as a donation to the top performer’s school. Contestants not chosen for the top three weren’t placed.
For the finalist’s “Songs About People” theme, Owens sang “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood as her solo. In addition, the entire group of ten finalists sang “For Good” from Wicked and “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman.
When the final acts ended, guest performer Alec Ferris gave the crowd a show while the judges deliberated who the best three performers were. However, an audience vote determined the rankings.
Though Owens didn’t place in the top three, she definitely enjoyed being a part of Teen Idol.
“Overall, it was an amazing experience, and being on stage makes me really happy so I don’t regret participating in the competition,” Owens said.
In 2017, Owens participated in Teen Idol and qualified for the finals as well.
“Making it to the finals was a good accomplishment for me and I am really glad I got so much experience with singing on stage and getting my voice out there and doing something I love,” Owens said.
Teen Idol is not the beginning nor the end of Owens’s music career. In the future, Owens hopes to continue pursuing music to gain more recognition for her talent.