Five finalists stepped forward Friday in the second round of The STAR talent competition held at McCormick Middle School’s Patricia Lindley Center.
An original field of 15 was narrowed down to Rebecca Arcuri, Ezra Ohly, Hailey Spikes, Jacob Fleming, and Rianna Rosecrans.
Spikes, a 14-year-old from Columbia Station, earned glowing feedback from judges for her performance of “Part of Your World” from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”
Her turquoise, Ariel-like dress added even more to a pitch perfect routine, said judge Emily Campfredano.
“Theater should be in your future,” she said. “I was captivated last week and I was captivated again tonight. I’m a fan and you’re great. You showed excellent microphone control too and everything was just fantastic.”
Other finalists’ performances included Fleming’s rendition of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” and Rosecrans belting out “Haunted” by Taylor Swift.
Rosecrans is still trying to decide what her finals song will be but said it will likely come from Adele’s catalog.
“In the first round, I did ‘All I Ask’ by Adele and it went really well,” she said. “I look up different karaokes on YouTube and then just go through a process of elimination. This week, I was deciding between ‘Haunted’ and ‘I Will Rise’ by Chris Tomlin… I went with ‘Haunted’ because I’ve been signing it for a few years. I’ll definitely be playing guitar in the finals and it’s probably going to be an Adele song.”
Judges told Rosecrans she “out-Taylor Swift-ed Taylor Swift.”
“You did a great job of using the stage meaningfully,” said Wellington High School principal Tina Drake. “You have a strong, smooth voice and you chose a song that fits it well.”
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Friday for the finals with performances beginning at 7 p.m.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.