Final contestants prepare for Cyclone Idol 2014


Courtesy of Veishea

Kristian Bush

Cj Eilers

Cyclone Idol, hosted this year by Kristian Bush of Sugarland, returns for its 11th year at 7 p.m. April 10 in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union, giving contesting students a chance to show off their vocal pipes.

Based off the hit reality TV show American Idol, Cyclone Idol has become a popular and well-attended event for Veishea through the years. The competition was founded in 2003 by the entertainment committee, responsible for creating and hosting Veishea campus events.

“The committee wanted to give students a chance to have something to do instead of the drinking and party scene,”  said Megan McDonald, performance co-chairwoman of Veishea. “Since then, it’s become a tradition of Veishea.”

Cyclone Idol consists of two rounds: auditions and finals. The auditions are held in the Maintenance Shop with typically 30 to 35 people signing up to compete. The contestants either use a track for background music, have a single person accompanying them or sing a capella. A panel of judges, consisting of ISU and Ames residents with backgrounds in music and theater, judge the contestants on six categories: vocals, music ability, use of accompaniment/a cappella, stage presence, audience response and attire and personality.

The judges choose the 12 best contestants to move on to the finals in the Great Hall. Last year, the entire hall was filled with students, friends and family to watch their favorite contestants perform again.

“We feel it’s been successful since we get a lot of students at this event,” McDonald said. “I have not ever heard negative comments about the event or performers from anyone.”

Deanna Le, a performance co-chairwoman along with McDonald, sang at the finals last year to the largest crowd to which she has ever performed.

“I really wanted to be involved in music again, so I started singing at mic nights,” Le said. “I learned about Cyclone Idol and signed up early, and I even had my song picked out.”

Despite being admittedly nervous, Le came in third place. As an event management major, she then decided to join the Veishea team and work for the event this year.

“I wanted to be on the other side of things for the experience,” Le said.

Sign-up for the competition began in January and ended March 21, allowing contestants plenty of time to prepare. All genres and all majors are allowed to compete, as long as their song, which they must stick to for both rounds, does not contain profanities of any kind.

The event is free for students and the public, but seating will fill up quickly, so it is recommend to be in line early. For more information on Cyclone Idol, go to Veishea’s event page.