Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Freshman named first Bama Idol


Last night the Ferguson Center Ballroom sat in silence awaiting the announcement of the first-ever Bama Idol winner.

With a title, an iPad and a Flip camera up for grabs, the night came to a close as the finalists waited on stage and the winners were announced.

Freshman Jenna Simandl won the title of first place in the Bama Idol competition. Second place went to Robert Dixon and third place to Jonathan Bell.

The ten finalists each took the stage and performed a song of their choice in front of three judges and an audience of more than two hundred students, faculty and staff. The judges offered insight and opinion after each performance, but the audience, via text message, chose the winner.

“I was impressed by the competition,” said Will Wallmeyer, one of the hosts of Bama Idol. “It was much better than I thought it would be.”

Bama Idol was set up through the Housing and Residential communities, and based on the Fox television show, American Idol.

“Getting a chance to be Simon for one night was a lot of fun,” said Robert Hayes, one of the three judges.

Hayes said being a part of Bama Idol was a great new experience.

“Some people may think Bama Idol is a small thing, but it is not,” he said. “I want to see Bama Idol grow every year that it is up and running. And what a way to start with the first ever Bama Idol. We had ten contestants and all were strong.”

Simandl stood out to the audience though, and took home the first place prize.

“I love to sing, and I haven’t really had a chance to, performance wise,” Simandl said.

Many of the competitors saw Bama Idol as a chance for them to perform, but said they did not limit themselves to Bama Idol only.

Robert Dixon, the second place winner, said he has found other outlets at the University to continue singing.

“I love energy from the crowd and performing,” Dixon said. “On this campus I’m involved with the Afro-American Gospel choir.”

Like Dixon, another performer, Zoie Rigsby also sings with an on-campus group.

“I love just being on stage, and I’m in the resident show choir right now, and it’s a lot of fun,” Rigsby said.

With the success of the first-ever Bama Idol, the chance of a second seems likely, according to both the judges and competitors.

“There is so much talent on campus, and it shouldn’t be hidden from the world,” Hayes said. “The winners should use this title and represent UA in the best way. Bama Idol will grow as long as the UA students support it and are willing to get out of their comfort zone.”

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