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Singers audition in Aggieland Idol to sing at A&M baseball game

Published: Friday, January 25, 2013

Updated: Friday, January 25, 2013 00:01

aggieland idol

David Cohen

A contestant sings for of the panel of judges for a chance to sing the national anthem at an A&M spring baseball game.

A handful of Aggie hopefuls got the chance to prove their talent Thursday night in the second annual Aggieland Idol, hosted by the Aggie Baseball team. Students were competing for a chance to sing or play the national anthem in the Cox Diamond at Blue Bell Park before an Aggie baseball game.

Contestants were asked to perform 30 seconds of their own song of choice and 30 seconds of the national anthem. Defensive lineman Spencer Nealy, former Aggie tennis player Lauren Santacroce and head baseball coach Rob Childress made up the panel of judges.

Among the night’s contestants was sophomore international studies and French double major Andi Gopffarth, who said that nerves were not a problem for her.

“I did this last year and actually got to sing at one of the games,” Gopffarth said. “I’m not very sporty, so it doesn’t faze me to sing in front of baseball players because I don’t even know who most of them are.”

For Gopffarth, this is not the first go-round with an ‘Idol’ audition.

“I’ve actually tried out for American Idol,” Gopffarth said. “I had to sing in front of a bunch of producers. These judges are much less brutal.”

Gopffarth was not the only singer there who had auditioned for American Idol, however. Senior communication major Mariclaire Ballentine had also tried out for the TV show back in her home town.

“I love to sing, and I really love baseball,” Ballentine said. “When I auditioned for American Idol the whole thing was very scripted. Here everyone gets a chance to audition in front of the real judges.”

Aggieland Idol is only in its second year, and is already starting to make a name for itself among students.

“I am an avid baseball fan,” Rocki Haddad, junior English major said. “I saw a bunch of people singing at games and they were announced as being Aggieland Idol winners, so I thought, ‘Why not?’”

Age was just a number for this competition, as contestants ranged anywhere from 6 year old kindergarteners to several Aggie moms, and nerves didn’t appear to be an issue for any of them.

“I generally don’t get stage fright,” Haddad said. “The baseball players play in front of me all the time and they aren’t nervous, so I don’t think I should be.”

Bristol Keller, senior communication major, said that it was her mother’s idea for her to audition, but was nonetheless glad to have been able to make it out.

“I like that students who otherwise wouldn’t come to sporting events get to come out and get involved,” Keller said. “It shows that there is more to Aggie sports than meets the eye.”

Even students who didn’t participate had high praises for the event. Sophomore business administration major Anna Hollis said that head coach Rob Childress played baseball at her alma mater, and that it was neat to see him interacting with the rest of the student body.

“It's fun to think of [Rob Childress] as a sort of Simon Cowell,” Hollis said. “I think this was a great opportunity for students and the community to get involved with the athletic department.” 

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