‘Rochester Idol’ winners have RHS ties


Junior and Idol winner Jessie Carl belts Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” while the packed audience cheers.

Angela Mammel, Entertainment Editor

At Rochester Community School’s 10th annual Rochester Idol competition the crowd was hushed in anticipation for the actsto begin. This year’s talent was especially outstanding, and the positive cheers from the audience made the stars shine even brighter on the stage. In sum, this year’s Idol was a great show that provided an amazing night out, as well as an exciting way to support the arts in Rochester.

Rochester Idol and Rochester Idol Jr., singing competitions based off of the popular TV show “American Idol,” have been celebrated events in schools all over the district ever since they began in 2006. The  “Idol” for highschool students and “Idol Jr.” for middle schoolers used to be events held separate days, but they were recently combined, giving the audience opportunities to vote for both their favorite middle school and highschool performances in one night.

Through cheering along to their favorite performances and using their phones to vote for their preferred contestants, the audience is a very important part of the overall experience of the show. At the end of the concert, the audience’s texted votes are tallied, and one middle schooler and one high schooler are crowned the Rochester Idols of the year, which is met with many cheers.

The winner of this year’s Jr. competition was Hart’s Charlotte Plotzke, daughter of RHS choir director Mrs. Jolene Plotzke, with her energetic performance of Kacey Musgraves’ “Biscuits.”

The winner of Idol was RHS’s own Jessie Carl, who blew the crowd away with her rendition of Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down.”

This year’s performances really showcased the talent of the students in the Rochester area. In previous years, some acts were better than others, but this year’s Idol included many showstopping numbers and truly set the bar high for Rochester Idol’s to come.

The variety of songs performed set this year apart from previous “Idols” as well; the show included anywhere from pop to punk rock to classic jazz songs. Standout performer Chase Lusader from Adams sang Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” playing to the crowd and providing a memorable closing number to the show. The start of the show was equally as memorable, as Hart’s Lia Catallo played and sang an original song titled “Tears on My Piano,” showcasing many sides to her talent and resulting in much praise from the audience. Other students, including Junior Idol Charlotte Plotzke, also accompanied themselves on either the guitar or the piano, which showed off their talent and added to their incredible performances. The winner’s acts were truly incredible, and Plotzke’s bubbly energy and Carl’s powerfully belted notes made them very deserving of their awards.

There really weren’t many drawbacks to this year’s competition at all, but some audience members in the past have beene upset that their favorite contestant didn’t take home the award. In these events, the winner is chosen by the amount of texted-in votes they receive, so there’s always the potential for the concert to become a contest about which contestant is more popular, not which is more talented. This results in some people not being happy with the outcome of the event, as they believe that the most talented contestant didn’t receive the prize. This year, however, both Plotzke and Carl showcased a lot of talent, and were very worthy of their rewards.

Rochester Idol has been an amazing concert experience for those who attend it ever since it started, and this year was arguably the best one yet. In supporting their school and their favorite contestants, the audience made the whole thing a positive experience for the performers, as well. It might be rough for next year’s show to top this one, but many students in the Rochester community can’t wait to see what it has to bring!