Frosh Kendra Checketts wins TP Idol competition

Kendra Checketts (9) won the annual ASB-sponsored TP Idol competition, which occurred at lunch in the quad from Mar. 11-14.

Checketts said she was happily surprised when she won against nine other competitors.

“I really like singing, and I thought I could share my voice with other people,” Checketts said. “I thought it would be fun to do [TP Idol] and perform in front of everybody.”

According to history teacher Lars Trupe, who was one of three judges this year, Checketts won because she “had the strongest voice, best command of [her] song, and was the most dynamic [singer].” These qualities made her the “clear winner.” The judging was based on participants’ syncopation, creativity, musicianship, showmanship and the audience’s reaction to the singers.

Trupe’s fellow judges included history teacher Chris Drake and Allison Aguirre (11), an ASB member who is in charge of organizing assemblies and TP Idol.

According to Aguirre, participation in TP Idol is open to everyone, provided that participants agree to abide by guidelines about appropriateness.

ASB member Zoe Eprile (12) decided to participate for the second time in TP Idol, performing Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” with sections of the lyrics altered to appeal to TPHS spirit. Although Eprile claims to have parodied Cyrus’ song to “make people laugh,” she also feels that Cyrus’ message about self-acceptance and confidence is relevant to TPHS students.

Eprile, who is hoping to sing at graduation in June, said the lyrics to her version of the song were “always in the back of [her] head” and that she came up with them when she saw connections between TPHS and Cyrus’ original lyrics. Checketts, who has been interested in singing since she was a child and who sings professionally at the House of Blues, said that she practiced for two hours a day and relied on feedback from friends and family to prepare for the competition.

Checketts performed in TPHS’ last musical, “The Light in the Piazza,” and wants to find other opportunities to sing at TPHS. She plans to audition for Jazz Band vocalist next year.

Trupe praised Checketts for her performance, but expressed disappointment with the faulty microphones and with a few singers who read lyrics off paper or their phones.

According to Aguirre and Eprile, there were also issues this year with signed-up students trying to back out of the competition on short notice. Aguirre added that there were problems getting enough judges to volunteer, which is why she opted to be the third judge.

Aguirre said that ASB started advertising for TP Idol two weeks prior to the contest by putting up posters and announcing information about it over the morning announcements.

For winning TP Idol, Checketts will receive $100 out of the ASB fund and will participate in County Idol, a competition between winners of other schools’ singing contests. She will also perform during the extended lunch on Mar. 28.