Oh say can you sing? That’s the question three judges patiently ponder as those with stars and stripes in their eyes vie for the chance to belt Francis Scott Key’s anthem whose patriotic power reduces even the most gifted singer into a yodeling, quivering mess. Hosted by the IE 66ers, the open auditions take place this weekend at the Inland Center Mall— by the food court in front of adoring mallrats—and only 25 will go on to open home games at the Arrowhead Credit Union Park in grand style. The lucky finalists also receive a $25 gift card to celebrate their hard fought battles on the field.
Playing the roles of Simon, Paula and Randy are John Weeks (staff writer at the San Bernardino Sun and confessed master extraordinaire of the shower stall and karaoke bar), Jennifer Sparks (of 6th Street School of Music in Redlands) and Jennifer Oberhelman (teacher at the San Bernardino Adult School and mistress singer herself), whose fortitude shall be tested by those who dare to stand for judgment (remember folks, the same song repeated hundreds of excruciating times). The only request these judges and the 66ers have for the hopefuls—remember the words, dammit!
Will contestants be sent packing away in shame after two minutes of fame, a la William Hung, or will a Jordan Sparks emerge to light up the night sky with a plucky rendition of America’s best worst song? Stick around and find out cuz after five hours of hell, even Simon might be driven to the bottle. (Nancy Powell)
Inland Empire Idol, Inland Center Mall, 500 Inland Empire Center Drive, San Bernardino. Saturday, March 1, from 11AM–4PM. Pre-register by calling Raj, (909) 888-9922 or arrive at 10AM on the day of the event to sign up; for more info visit www.ie66ers.com