Singer Adrianna Foster belted her way to the 2018 Boca Idol title with a rousing version of the National Anthem she’ll sing at opening ceremonies before the televised college bowl game in December. Three-hundred people piled into The Addison to watch the Idol finals and support the game’s charity partner, Spirit of Giving.
The competition kicked off 25 charity fundraisers during Boca Chamber Festival Days through Aug. 30. An enthusiastic audience with cheering sections for each performer pared the final eight down to three. Each one sang the National Anthem and the judges chose Foster (Video at the end of post).
Runner-ups were Mikayla O’Brien, 13, an Eagles Land Middle School student and Emma Brown, 14, entering Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Foster performs professionally and calls herself a motivational singer who merges music with personal development through workshops, seminars, retreats and live concerts.
A Miami resident, she has Boca connections. The win prompted her mentor Mary Wong to grab her for a big hug. “I told her to enter the contest and she wrote two songs for us,” said Wong, the well-known president of Listen Learn Care, the former Office Depot Foundation.
The other semi-finalist were Ava Faith, 14; Serenity Jones, 19 and Eeshani Behara, 16; professional singer Valerie Tucci and Johnny Schulz, an amateur guitarist. Among Idol judges were 2015 Boca Idol winner, singer Kendra Erika. Erika splits her time between Boca and Los Angeles and is about to release a new single through Warner Records.
The other judges were: Adam Marshall, a partner at the law firm of Marshall Socarras Grant in Boca, the presenting Idol sponsor; music educator at Lynn University and performer Carrie Simpson; and performer Molly Vogel.
Emcees for the Idol contest were ESPN 106.3 announcer Josh Cohen and Ken LaVicka, the voice of FAU football. The annual Idol contest is a lead-up to the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl, one of 41 post-season college bowl games nationally and the only one in Palm Beach County. The game is Tuesday, Dec. 18 this year and will be broadcast on ESPN.
Spirit of Giving hands out thousands of free tickets through local nonprofits for the game. Their 10th annual Back to School Bash supplies 4,000 at-risk kids with school necessities like backpacks, shoes, school supplies and uniforms.