BRANSON, Mo., June, 25, 2012 — In my story on the first of three groups of American Idol® Finalists, who will perform in the show American Idol® Finalists In The Finalists Live, I said, “‘The Finalists Live ‘ provides those who have said, ‘Branson needs a show that will appeal to a younger demographic’ with an answer to their prayer.” After seeing the second group of Finalists perform on the afternoon of June 22, a paraphrase of the lyrics of a song sung by Alexis Grace in the show, “Proud Mary,” seems appropriate to describe the show; “Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on in Branson,” as these extremely diverse and talented performers continue to provide a wonderful entertainment experience demonstrating why they are “American Idol® Finalists.”
While the shows format remains basically the same as it was for the first group, the performers in this group Alexis Grace, Scott Savol, Siobhan Magnus, Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo provide an entirely different dynamic, style and variety of music. It’s just about a totally new show with five different concerts, each with its own style of music and performer personality.
The constant that helps transition from one performer and style of music to another, is the band and back ground vocalists who so beautifully and seamlessly add their instrumentality and vocal skills to this wonderfully entertaining production. The band is composed of Ricki Holmes, Music Director, Keyboards; Doug Clifford, Drums; Matt Skates, Bass; Adam Johnston, Guitar and Will Clark, Keyboards. The background vocalists are Shelia Davis, Jerry Pollock and Heather Peterson with the vocal coordination and arrangement done by Jana King Evans.
The opening act is Pete Peterkin, who was a finalist on “America’s Got Talent ®.” He does a variety of impressions from both a comedy and musical aspect. I particularly enjoyed his impression of President Obama, Ray Charles and Michael Jackson. Trust me on this, when this multitalented performer asks, “Do you want to see me do Michael Jackson, ” the answer is “Yes.”
All five finalists got an opportunity to be featured as they participated in the opening numbers, “I Gotta Feeling” and “Get The Party Started.” Season 8 Finalist, the talented and personable Alexis Grace, from Memphis TN, started the party with a high energy four song set including hits by Aretha Franklin, Peggy Lee, Jackson 5 and Ike and Tina Turner. My favorite was the Jackson 5 hit, “I Want You Back.”. Establishing the paradigm that would be followed by all the following acts, between some of her numbers, she shared interesting facts about her experiences on American Idol® and what has happened since.
Next up is Scott Savol, a fifth place Season 5 Finalist singing a four number set. He has a great voice and his song choice tied in perfectly with his laid back mesmerizing style of presentation. Although he did songs by The Temptations, Four Tops and Phil Collins; a song he wrote “What Can I Do,” and his emotional performance of it, was special.
The second half of the show starts off on a really high plane, the “MoonBaby!” Siobhan Magnus, a sixth place Season 9 Finalist did superb job performing her own unique style of music in a four number set including three original numbers from her new album “MoonBaby.” The costuming and high healed space boots coupled with her original songs and distinctive vocal style brings a new, unique, and exciting element to the Branson stage. Her original song, “Pure Inspiration” was my favorite number from her set.
The last act combined two Finalists, the recently engaged Ace Young from Season 5 and Diana DeGarmo, Runner Up in Season 3. Although each performed a couple of numbers separately and did a great job, the energy, passion and synergy that they conveyed while performing together was a defining moment in the show.
Interestingly, they did not meet on American Idol®, but later while performing together in the musical “Hair,” from which they performed a medley. Overall they performed more than 10 numbers during their set, but it was their duet of their original song “Us Against The World” that especially touched the heart of this old man and gave him, even if just a perception and for only a moment, a glimpse into what it is they feel for each other.
A wonderful entertainment experience closes with the all five Finalists joining together to sing “Life In A Northern Town” and ““R-O-C-K In The USA.” Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley saw the show at the same time I did. After seeing the show she said “It’s an amazing show.” That it is and then some; don’t miss the opportunity to see this unique and amazing show while in Branson.
Alexis Grace, Scott Savol, Siobhan Magnus, Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo will be performing in the American Idol® Finalists In The Finalists Live! show through July 21. For additional information or tickets on this show or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center ,one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com. (Twitter: #FinalistsLiveBranson)