Billie Roe was named of the 2012 MetroStar Talent Challenge last night at the Metropolitan Room.
Roe, who won a Bistro Award for her recent comeback show that broke a 30-year hiatus from performing in New York, earned top scores from a majority of judges in the last two weeks to edge out Tommy J. Dose (the first runner-up) and second runner-up Elisabeth Cernadas. The two other finalists in the seven-week competition that began on July 9 were Altovise and Eva Kantor.
Before the results were announced the audience was treated to special performances by two previous MetroStar winners -- 2010 MetroStar T. Oliver Reid, and the reigning MetroStar Marissa Mulder. The evening also featured an appearance by Eric Michael Gillett, the contest’s new permanent judge, whose heartfelt and insightful comments throughout the competition often drew applause from the audience. “This has been one of the best, strongest groups,” Tom Gamblin, the contest’s host, declared about the top five.
The night’s guest jurists included Time Out’s Adam Feldman, the Huffington Post’s David Finkle, the producer and critic Scott Siegel, and the producer-entertainer Jamie deRoy. The contest’s permanent jury was anchored, as it has from the beginning, by the critic Roy Sander (the chairman), and critic Rob Lester. These two were joined by the Metropolitan Room’s departing booking manager Tanya Holt, and Gillett. Tracy Stark served as the contest’s resident music director.
The top five were the last ones standing from an initial pool of 48 solo singers. Roe’s career-boosting package of prizes and professional encouragements (worth over $10,000) includes a fully-produced, prime-time major engagement at the club, plus a professional multi-track, unmastered live recording of the new show. Dose and Cernadas will open for Roe on alternating nights during the run, and receive demo recordings of their appearances.
Open to performers of all ages and backgrounds who have not played a major engagement at The Metropolitan Room, "MetroStar" encourages singers to present well-rounded stage performances in which creativity, innovation and authenticity are prized over vocal fireworks.
For all the latest "MetroStar Talent Challenge" information, consult the club's Web site at www.metropolitanroom.com Sited as "the best of New York's smaller clubs" by The New York Times, the Nightlife and Bistro Award-winning Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, celebrated its fifth anniversary in May. For reservations call 212/206-0440.