Keeping with tradition, Brooklyn’s 10th Annual Senior Idol Competition took place on Saturday, October 1, on one of Bay Ridge’s busiest weekends of the year.
The event — hosted annually by State Senator Marty Golden in conjunction with Xaverian High School — shared a date with the 50th Annual Ragamuffin Parade, and showcased the talents of 12 local seniors, chosen from 40 who auditioned in September, while also raising money for the parochial school’s always-growing music program.
“This is a community school that has served us well, and continues to serve us well,” said Golden at the competition, which took place at 7 p.m. in the Xaverian auditorium. “This is our 10th annual Senior Idol. We started with our seniors at AARP and, now, all the money raised here today goes to Xaverian for [scholarships and to purchase new] instruments.”
The evening’s 12 finalists included Tony Yodice, Nicholas DeCillis, Stephanie Spathakis, Ron Divito, Irene Dobronski, John Douglas, Thomas Horlick, Emmy Pai, Vito Lombardo, Angel Mendez, Don Coy and Darnley Browne.
Browne and Divito took home first and second runner up respectively, while Pai impressed the panel of judges enough to take home the grand prize — $500.
Pai performed a soulful rendition of “Fever,” wowing the judges (who included film and television star Dan Grimaldi).
Golden, however, was impressed not only by all 12 finalists but also by all those who had the guts to audition.
“[The singers] did an outstanding job,” he told the crowd. “It’s not easy to get up here and entertain, especially if you’re not an entertainer. Some are — some sing at home and at parties — but they’re not paid singers, so to come up here in front of a crowd like this and do what they do is a great, great service to our community.”