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Royal Idol featured vocalists from the SDSS vocal class. From top left, Patrick Fenton, Jamie Kuhl, and Sasha Morano. Front, from left, Emma Schuster, Amelia Willson, Gracienne Swarbrick, Kyra Brough, Cydney Morris and Alexander George.

Hub Staff

A rendition of a Radiohead classic by Grade 10 student Amelia Willson took first place as well as the Fan Favourite award during Saugeen District Secondary School’s annual Royal Idol, May 31.

The theme of this year’s Idol was Back to the Future which saw nine participants from the vocal class taught by Kerrie-Lynn Boys perform eight acts from a range of decades in front of the student body and three judges. Judges were SDSS Drama teacher Leslie Turcotte, English teacher Ric Swigger and former student and musician Ben Turcotte.

Out of 17 auditions, the eight acts were chosen to compete for Idol glory, which included a duet and many self-accompanied performances.

Idols included: Grade 10 Amelia Willson, first place; Grade 10 student Gracienne Swarbrick, second place; Grade 11 student Sasha Morano, third place; Grade 10 student Patrick Fenton; Grade 9 student Kyra Brough, Grade 11 student Jamie Kuhl who performed a duet with Grade 10 student Cydney Morris; Grade 12 student Alexander George and Grade 11 student Emma Schuster.

Willson, who placed first with her rendition of Creep by Radiohead placed third in last year’s Royal Idol competition. Judges were wowed with her winning performance. “Wow, that was fantastic,” said Swigger, adding that the emotion was convincing.

Turcotte said she loved Willson’s tone and added that it was a difficult song to sing in front of the school. Turcotte admitting he liked her song choice and that Willson, who performed last, was “worth the wait”.

Last year’s winner of the Idol competition, Gracienne Swarbrick, who channeled her inner Marilyn Monroe for her performance of “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, received high praise from judges. Turcotte said she enjoyed her attitude and the character she got into for the performance while Swigger said her performance was classy and the song was easy to listen to. Turcotte said he was impressed with her bravado and that she immediately got into character.

Grade 11 student Sasha Morano sang The Killers’ hit “Mr. Brightside” while accompanying herself on keyboard. Turcotte said her performance was “right on”.

Turcotte remarked on Morano’s connection with her audience, and said she loved the build in the song.

Swigger noted her large fan base in the audience and enjoyed how she pulled on the sadness in the song.


Amelia Willson (second from left) was announced the Royal Idol and voted Fan Favourite following her rendition of Radiohead’s Creep during Saugeen District Secondary School’s Royal Idol competition, May 31.


Gracienne Swarbrick performed “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and took second place.


Patrick Fenton performed “Stand by Me”.


Emma Schuster performed the Ella Eyre rendition of “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off”.


Sasha Morano performed “Mr. Brightside” taking third spot.


Kyra Brough performed “This is Gospel”.


Jamie Kuhl and Cydney Morris performed Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”.


Channeling his inner Sinatra, Alexander George performed “My Way”.


Amelia Wilson performing her winning number, Radiohead’s “Creep”.