The final three contestants in the sixth annual Mountaineer Idol talent show will take to the stage Sunday, Nov. 8, ending a months long odyssey that has included five previous rounds.

AJ Warne, Meghan Carlson and Nicole Mata will perform three songs each – a new song, a song that they have previously sung during the competition and a song selected by the emcees. A panel of six judges will determine the winner. Celebrity judges include WBOY reporter Dani Brake-DeVito and local rap artist 6’6 240.

The event will be held in the Mountainlair Ballrooms, located on the 2nd floor of the Mountainlair. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m.

“The road to becoming a top three contestant was exactly what I expected it to be – fun and nerve-wrecking,” Mata said. “Mountaineer Idol has been fun and worthwhile because not only do you get to befriend many individuals with amazing vocal talents, but you also get to share your talents with other people. Megan and AJ are both talented individuals and any of us could take the title.”

Mountaineer Idol Gives Back partnered with Coca-Cola and WVU WECAN for this year’s campaign charity, Jessi’s Pals. WVU student and former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch started Jessi’s Pals after receiving many stuffed animals during her long-time hospital stay recovering from her injuries in the Iraq War. She wanted children at the WVU Children’s Hospital to have something to hold on to in their time of need.
The final three contestants will be collecting stuffed animals and donations at the door to benefit Jessi’s Pals.

Throughout the entire competition, Coca-Cola has donated $5 for every empty Coca-Cola bottle or can students have brought in to each round. Coca-Cola’s total donation, all benefiting Jessi’s Pals, is $1,000.

“Mountaineer Idol this semester has been very entertaining for our campus and community,” said Mountaineer Week Advisor Sonja Wilson. “We have been there each week enjoying our finalists performing to seven genres of music. The talent has been superb, the audience numbers have been outstanding and the memories of this year’s elimination rounds will last a lifetime.”

More than 75 contestants auditioned for a spot in the top 15 who went on to perform in five weeks of competition, with contestants being eliminated each week. The contestants sang music from different genres such as Country, Motown, Broadway and 80s songs.

“Mountaineer Idol gives students the chance to really grow as performers,” said Kasey Hott, student chairperson of Mountaineer Idol and the 2006 winner. “The singers branch out and sing songs from genres they wouldn’t normally feel comfortable singing.”

Emcees for the event are 2008 Mountaineer Idol Holly Hunsberger and 2007 Mountaineer Idol top 12 finalist Dave Slusarick.



CONTACT: Sonja Wilson, Mountaineer Week