When the winner of the 2011 Brooklyn Senior Idol was announcedat Xaverian High School on Saturday night, October 1, it was a BayRidgeite who walked away with the title.
Crooner Eddie Gentile, 61, captured the imagination and votes ofthe three judges and around 400 audience members with his voice,which organizers said was nearly indistinguishable from that ofFrank Sinatra, whose hit New York, New York Gentile sang toclinch the win.
If you closed your eyes, you would’ve thought Sinatra was inthe place, said guest-judge Frankie Marra, who is a musician inhis own right, with his own popular local band. He had emotionsand captured the artist who made that popular, besides LizaMinnelli. It was really good.
That combination of talent, skill, performance and emotion iswhat made an impression on the judges, which included Joe Loposky,musical director at Xaverian, and Nancy Liatsis, musical directorat Gateway City Church and the original Senior Idol.
For his part, Gentile, a retired school principal and new memberof a 15-piece swing band, is thrilled that people recognize andappreciate the music that he has so much fun making.
I’m a senior, I sing, it’s just a few steps over to Xaverianfrom where I live and a few friends encouraged me to [compete],said Gentile, who was one of the finalists in last year’scompetition with his rendition of My Way, another Sinatraclassic. I was competing with some other great voices, so it mademe feel even greater that I was chosen. It was a nice evening,[emcee] Joe Franklin was great, and [the organizers] did such agreat job.
The 12 other finalists were also on cloud nine, sending emailsof thanks to event organizers.
We were treated like movie stars for the evening. What awonderful feeling and elation it gave me, Beverly Bennickexclaimed. I’m not used to being the praised and pamperedone!
Stephanie Spachakis agreed, writing that she had so much fun,was happier today than I have ever been and can’t wait untilnext year.
The fifth annual event was organized by Gail and AlbertAsfazadour, the latter the president of AARP Chapter #5055, whichproceeds from ticket sales supports.