Campus Activities Board hosts WU Idol

Regina Budden

Last Tuesday, the Campus Activities Board and Residential Living took a big part of pop culture to show Washburn University’s natural talents in the WU Idol event. They were not disappointed.

To perform, students were screened at try-outs on the 27th and the morning of the 28th. Those who made it filled the Washburn Room of the Union with their support groups and curious spectators.

Corey Walker, a physical education major, said he thought attending WU’s extracurricular activities is important.

“I was here last year and I wanted to see what new talent Washburn University has,” said Walker. He noted improvements from last year’s contest. “The judges know more about what they’re talking about. They’re more in-depth with their criticisms than last year.”

Walker said he thinks it’s important to show support for the university’s extracurricular activities through attendance.

The acts included a variety of genres, including country, an a cappella version of a Stevie Wonder song and one artist who had composed his own song. The assortment was refreshing, but it made the judging more difficult.

Christy Hollis, Lucas Mullin and Amanda Repp acted as judges. Hollis, an athletic training major and a resident assistant in the LLC, said she thought the judging became easier as they went, but she still thought it was difficult.

“At first I didn’t know what to expect,” said Hollis. “I kind of felt bad. I’m a horrible singer, but it made me realize just how much talent we have here at Washburn University.”

After all the contestants performed, the judges announced the top three scorers, who were given a minute each to re-perform before the audience voted on the winner. Isaac Guetersloh placed third with his own revamped guitar arrangement of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” Lauren Buser came in second with Adele’s arrangement of “To Make You Feel My Love,” and Phillip “Brail” Watson performed Musiq Soulchild’s “Love.”

Watson originally tried out for WU Idol in an effort to pay bills. He was disappointed after he found out the prizes for first, second and third place were $50, $30 and $20, respectively. In the past, first place had garnered as much as $200 prize money. Still, Watson said he was happy he performed because he loves to sing in front of people.

Watson said music has helped him express himself through his family’s struggles with depression, which drives him to share it with other people.

“Music’s changed my life,” he said. “I want to change others’ lives.”