Bowie State Idol Finals: One-Vote Win
By Bekah Oester
The Bowie State Idol final competition was held Nov. 20 in the Wiseman Center and proved to be an entertaining and suspenseful evening.
Along with performances by the final five contestants, guest appearances were made by rap artist Mr. Respect and Tsion the wordsmith.
The room was decorated with "smoking stops here" posters and balloons, as well as gift bags for audience members, and the "American Idol" theme song blasted in the background until the performances began.
The first contestant to compete was Mike Gain who performed Chris Brown's single "With You." He was followed by Clarese Alexander, who sang Alicia Keys' "Diary." Malcolm Towler and Antonio Carter also entertained the audience with their respective performances of R. Kelly's "Flying without Wings," Jamie Foxx's "Heaven," and then Lakeya Coates brought the competing performances to a close with a rap she composed herself.
While audience members responded and interacted positively with all contestants, Alexander appeared to be the audience favorite. Guest judges who assumed the personalities of Idol's judges Randy, Paula, and Simon did not agree, and appeared to favor Towler and Coates.
In an intermission between performances, a guest speaker from Tobacco Awareness and Prevention called volunteers from the audience to play a cigarette marketing game which informed the audience of the deadly ingredients in cigarettes including ammonia and acetone. The game and guest speaker were in honor of the Great American Smokeout which took place the same day. According to the speaker, students need to "be aware of what's in your body."
All audience members voted using paper ballots, and the first two contestants eliminated were Gain and Coates. Second runner up was Alexander, who received a $50 Visa gift card. First runner up Towler and winner Carter were separated by one vote: Towler received 21, and Carter 22. Towler won a $100 Visa gift card, and Carter, $200 Visa gift card.
Contestants seemed content with the outcome and made no complaints, acknowledging the closeness of the competition. "It was mad close" said Towler of the results.
Bowie State Idol was sponsored by the Health and Wellness center as part of the Great American Smokeout, a day held annually on the third Tuesday of November. Participants in the smokeout agree to go 24 hours without a cigarette, in hopes that the day will be their first step towards quitting their smoking habit. The day became a nationwide event in 1977 under the sponsorship of the American Cancer Society, which promotes local and national events held during the day.
For more information on the Great American Smokeout, visit http://www.cancer.org/docroot/subsite/greatamericans/Smokeout.asp . BSU's Henry Wise Wellness Center is a resource available on campus to any student looking to quit smoking. To schedule an appointment, contact them at 301-860-4170.