Ciao, baby: All talents welcome at Italian Idol auditions

Contestants must register prior to April 13 tryouts

Special to the Fort Mill TimesApril 2, 2013 

— Do you have an outstanding talent that you’d like to showcase?

Auditions for the sixth annual Italian Idol talent show will be held in the St. Philip Neri Parish Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13. The contest is a part of the 18th annual St. Philip Neri Catholic Church Italian Fest, held in May at the church, 292 Munn Road, Fort Mill.

Chuck Boozer from WRHI will emcee, which is only part of the experience.

At the end of each festival, parishioners gather to plan the next year’s activities. Each year, they bake, stuff sausages, gather sponsors, rearrange the field and add and subtract entertainment. Festival goers can enjoy sausages, meatballs, pasta, lasagna and goodies homemade by parishioners.

“It’s a great way to get out and enjoy the food, games and fun offered by the parish,” said Roberta Whitaker, one of the event’s planners. New to the festival this year is the Cannoli Run, a 5k fun run with profits from the race split between the parish and the Fort Mill Care Center. There will be something for all ages, Whitaker said.

In years past, competitors in the Italian Idol contest have included singers, dancers, acrobats and other entertainers.

“Last year we had an accordion player,” said Eleanor DiBias, another event planner. “It’s fun to get out and hear all of the participants.”

After the initial audition, the field will be whittled down to 20 for the festival. This year, contestants will compete for trophies and cash. For the Senior Division (ages 14 and up) cash awards will be $200, $150 and $100; the Junior Division cash prizes start at $100, second place is $75 and third place $50. The final round of competition will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, during the Italian Fest.

Performers will be featured on an outdoor stage.

This year’s judges are Roger Cullis and Joe Davis. Cullis, of Cullis Entertainment, is a Grammy-voting member of the NARAS and a three-time winner of the Charlotte Music Award.

Davis is lead guitarist and vocalist for the Joe Davis Band, which has twice won the Charlotte Music award.

Contestants must register before the qualifying auditions in April. View the application process at All applicants will be contacted by telephone about appearance times. Call Roberta Whitaker at 803-370-0600 or email her at

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