Jill Taylor was a young girl when she was first introduced to singing on a stage as she traveled with her mother around Oxford, Miss. in the early 1990s.
Taylor now attends Georgia Southern University as a junior fashion merchandising major who is living up to her young aspirations of singing on stage. Exposure to music and singing at a young age developed this interest that she still puts to use in her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, during recruitment week.
“Growing up my mom was a Christian singer. She was on tour in 1993 and 1994 and I traveled with her,” Taylor said.
This year, Jill auditioned for GSU Idol and will compete for the title next week.
“I chose to audition last minute, so I sang a song that I did during recruitment, ‘I hope you dance,’” Taylor said.
Eight students including Christian Chance, Michelle Johnson, Nita Myles, Nicola Fairclough, Gazzie Fulcher, Emily Hill, Emily Faz and Taylor made it through the first process of elimination for the GSU Idol title and will get to perform in front of an audience on Monday at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center.
Monday’s performances will commence the beginning of Homecoming week on Georgia Southern’s campus with songs relating to this year’s theme, superheroes. Performers will begin the event with the opening number correlating to the super hero theme.
“Auditions were held last week, and those who made it received an email on Friday,” Jasmine Elder, sophomore pre-nursing major and GSU Idol committee member in Student Government Association, said.
“We get to pick a song of our choice and a song relating to superheroes. I chose ‘Holding out for a Hero’ by Ella Mae Bowen’s cover from the 1980s, and right now I am torn between ‘Somebody I Used to Know’ and ‘Gun Powder and Lead’ for my choice,” Taylor said.
“I’m singing ‘One Thousand Miles’ by Vanessa Carlton and ‘When you Believe’ by Whitney Houston,” Fairclough, junior political science major, said.
Last year’s GSU Idol had 17 contestants perform at the event while this year’s event will have less than half of that number on stage this year, Elder said.
Last year’s GSU Idol gave Homecoming points out to contestants and winners, but this year the University Programming Board decided against it, Christina Belge, SGA executive vice president, said.
“Fourteen people tried out this year, and only eight made it through auditions. Not as many people tried out, that might be because sorority points weren’t handed out for Homecoming Week,” Elder said. “Two contestants did drop because there won’t be points given out.”
SGA feels that the lack of issuing homecoming points is the reason not as many people tried out for this year’s GSU Idol, Taylor said.
“I think about three organizations participated last year, and this year there are four,” Taylor said.
“It is possible attendance will be down. We don’t feel like it will be drastic,” Chad Harmon, senior political science major and vice president of Academic Affairs for SGA, said.
All proceeds from this event go toward the United Way of Southeast Georgia.
Diandra White, director of GSU Idol, could not comment before press time.
All contestants of GSU Idol were contacted by The George-Anne and those quoted were the only ones to respond before press time.