Three judges set to choose Beaufort County Idol

Published 10:08 am Saturday, November 15, 2008

By Staff
Sizemore, Weston, Toler to name winner today
Lifestyles &Features Editor
The pressure is on for Joe Sizemore, Leslie Weston and Joey Toler as they evaluate the performances of 16 talented entertainers this afternoon in the search for the 2008 Beaufort County Idol.
All three bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the judges’ table.
Sizemore, in particular, is no stranger when it comes to critiquing performances. He judged each preliminary round of Idol competition leading up to today’s finals, but, more importantly, he taught music for 30 years. He also served as band director at Washington High School and he staged that school’s annual musical production.
Sizemore recently returned from the Carolina Beach Music Awards in Myrtle Beach, where he has performed with such acts as the Craig Woolard Band. An entertainer since he was a youngster, Sizemore has also appeared with music legends Percy Sledge, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin.
Sizemore said he has an idea of what the Beaufort County Idol should be and he’s ready for the competition.
Weston, the youngest member of the panel, admits she is a judging novice.
What she lacks in judging experience, she more than makes up for in actual performing. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she earned a degree in dramatic arts.
Weston has been active in local theater productions and while in college she sang with the Heels to Heaven choir for four years. She’s also auditioned for and was accepted by two touring Christian groups; she spent two summers traveling with the American Christian Youth Chorale and performed with Inspiration Point for one season.
What is Weston looking for in a winner?
Toler has performed professionally since graduating with a theater degree from Appalachian University. He is presently the executive director of the Beaufort County Arts Council and he’s directed the Beaufort County Schools’ production of “Steppin’ Out” for 13 of the past 14 years.
Like Sizemore and Weston, he is well suited to the role of Beaufort County Idol judge.
The show begins at 1 p.m. at the historic Turnage Theater in downtown Washington, but the doors will open at noon for early arrivals. There is no admission charge, but a $5 donation is encouraged to help with expenses.
Standing before Sizemore, Weston, Toler and what organizers hope will be a packed house will be semifinalists Joseph Conner, Destiny Tyson, Renee Stalls, Hayley Foy, Jessica Smith, Melanie Piercy, Amanda Rose, Vicky Bortz, MacKenzie Roberts, McKenna Cox, Patricia Langley, Leah Clark, Gladys Hines, Mary Elizabeth Nuckols, Kim Rogers and Macon Williams.
The Historic Downtown Washington Merchants Association and the Beaufort County Arts Council, organizers of Beaufort County Idol, have teamed up with the Turnage Theaters Foundation for today’s final competition.
The winner will receive $500 in “Washington Dollars” to be spent at participating downtown businesses. First runner-up receives $300 and second runner-up will be awarded $200.
Toler offered a few words of advice to the Idol contestants.