Sunday, April 18, 2004

Lakota to host regional kid 'Idol'

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

WEST CHESTER TWP. - Who will become the first Lakota Idol?

The first 50 children, ages 8-18, who register at or call 755-0713 will be able to participate in the in the Children's Performing Arts of Lakota's Idol competition. Competitors from across Greater Cincinnati are welcome.
Participants will be judged in one of three age categories: 8-12; 13-15; 16-18.
Closed competitions in which 50 will be reduced to 20, at Keehner Park's amphitheater:
*May 17: 8-12-year-olds
*May 18: 13-15-year-olds
*May 19: 16-18-year-olds
Elimination rounds, open to the public, where 20 are reduced to 5, in Keehner Park's amphitheater:
June 16: 8-12-year-olds
June 17: 13-15-year-olds
June 18: 16-18-year-olds
The five best performers in each age group will return to Keehner Park's amphitheater for a 7 p.m. showdown where the top "Idol" from each age group is selected. It is open to the public.
Inspired by the hit TV series American Idol, Children's Performing Arts of Lakota is launching its own search for the top kid talent of Southwest Ohio.

These 8- to 18-year-olds won't be insulted by the sharp tongue of Simon Cowell or hear Randy Jackson's "Yo, Dawg." But they will go through the same nerve-racking elimination round.

"The judges are not going to be nearly as nasty," said Steve Kuhn, one of two CPAL producers.

"I think it will be a blast," said Stephanie Kuhn, a Lakota West High School graduate drafted to judge the competition.

Competitors will be divided into three groups based on age. One Idol will be selected from each category: 8-12; 13-15; and 16-18.

The first 50 to register in each age group will be eligible for the competition, which begins with closed-door judging sessions May 17-19 in which the 50 competitors in each age group are whittled to 20.

The public will be invited to Keehner Park's amphitheater June 16-18: Each night at 7, the 20 competitors in one category will be cut to five.

The finale will come June 19, when the top 15 return to the park and one Idol for each age category is selected.

"We're not looking just for good singing," said Ben Dibble, who sits on CPAL's board of directors. "We're looking for personality and showmanship."

Register at or call 755-0713. Competitors from across Greater Cincinnati are welcome.

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