5 Finalists Picked For Finale Of 10th Annual Metrostar Talent Challenge Next Monday

5 Finalists Picked For Finale Of 10th Annual Metrostar Talent Challenge Next Monday

Last night five finalists were selected to compete in next Monday's highly anticipated finale of the 2017 "MetroStar Talent Challenge" at the Metropolitan Room. Chosen from the contest's Top 8 semi-finalists, the five top vote-getters in the audience- and jury-voted singers' competition are the actor/singer Anthony Alfaro; veteran vocalist Joan Crowe, and newcomers Evan Dolan, Emily Ellet, and Jackie Mate, who is only 16.

Open to solo singers and vocal duos of all ages, backgrounds and styles who have not played a major engagement at the Metropolitan Room, this year's 7-week "MetroStar Talent Challenge" began on July 10 and reaches its climax on Monday August 21. Started in 2008, this is the 10th edition of "MetroStar," a contest that encourages performers to present well-rounded stage performances in which creativity, innovation and authenticity are prized over vocal pyrotechnics.

In the finals each of the singers, who have all been challenged to sing assigned songs in the course of the contest -- even if they don't already know the songs -- will be asked to present a mini set, which will include one of their previously sung songs, chosen by the jury.

In addition to the MetroStar grand prize and its Special Audience Award (instituted in 2015), the career-boosting competition is offering two additional prizes -- an Innovation Award -- recognizing creativity and unique ideas -- and a Best New Artist Award (which is NOT age-specific), going to a contestant who has been performing publicly as a singer or cabaret performer for under a year.

This year's permanent jury includes drag queen standout Doris Dear; the singer and writer (and 2012 MetroStar) Billie Roe; the Metropolitan Room's booking manager and cabaret producer Joseph Macchia, and cabaret journalist Roy Sander, who has served as jury chairman since the contest's inception. This year's initial pool of singers totaled 51. Mallory King, Maya Murphy, and Jackie Schiffer were the semi-finalists who did not advance. The 2016 MetroStar is "On Your Feet" veteran David Baida.

MetroStar's host, the MAC Award-winning Tom Gamblin, is now in his seventh season as master of ceremonies and talent wrangler. The contest's music direction is shared this year by Jeff Cubeta and Tracy Stark. The singer and director Lina Koutrakos serves as MetroStar's resident mentor, who has been offering performance-improving tips to the competitors.

Since it took off in 2008, MetroStar has launched and redefined the careers of several standouts in cabaret and jazz. Past winners, in chronological order, have been Anne Steele, Liz Lark Brown, T. Oliver Reid, Marissa Mulder, Billie Roe, Lauren Stanford, KristoffeR Lowe, Minda Larsen, and David Baida. The contest's co-producers are Met Room owner Bernie Furshpan, Met Room technical director Jean-Pierre Perreaux, Macchia, Gamblin, and Beck Lee.

The 2017 MetroStar Talent Challenge concludes on Monday August 21, at 6:30pm. The cover charge is $20, with a $15 menu minimum. The Nightlife, MAC and Bistro Award-winning Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, celebrated its 11th anniversary in May. For reservations call 212/206-0440 or to order online visit www.metropolitanroom.com.

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