News & Events

Senior Idol Crowned

June 6, 2013

By Mallory Evans, The Review, Published June 6, 2013

Residents and staff members from Community Care Center in Alliance graced the stage during Senior Idol, Season III, on May 31.

Seven acts performed on a stage area decorated with glittering stars and metallic streamers as three judges rated them.

The annual talent contest gives staff members an opportunity to have fun with residents. Activities Director Lori Underwood said the event also adds some variety to the residents' daily schedule. "There' so many different reasons. It's a way for the residents and the staff to get a different side of each other and to play," she said.

Judges for this year's competition included Mayor Alan Andreani, Tom Rickels of Midwest Innovations and Ruth Lang from The Alliance Review.

John Austin served as master of ceremonies again this year, introducing each act and interacting with the judges.

The first act of the afternoon was "The Jackie Show," featuring Jackie Steele and Luanne Beadnell. Steele acted as a daytime talk show host interviewing special guest Edith Ann, a 5-year-old girl played by Beadnell.

Beadnell's precocious character told stories about her misadventures while speaking in a country accent. She gave her thoughts on boys, best friends, dogs and baby brothers. "That's why Mama always says I'd make a good writer, because I tell stories all the time," Beadnell said.

The judges gave "The Jackie Show" scores of eight across the board. They especially commended Steele on a job well done. "Larry King has nothing on your interview skills," Rickels said. Andreani said she could replace Barbara Walters.

The second act featured residents Ruth Baker and Betty Larson singing "Amazing Grace." Staff member Renee Bender sang along and accompanied the women on piano. They sang several verses of the old hymn before finishing the song a capella.

The judges enjoyed the musical performance. Lang complimented their song selection and enjoyed the vocal harmony. "I agree with the other judges. Wonderful rendition of a classic song," Rickels said.

Residents and staff members performed a comedic musical number called "Tender Loving Care" in the third act. Three dancers appeared to be on the stage, but six performers were actually standing on set. The primary dancers used their hands as feet, making the dancers appear much shorter. Assistants hid behind a curtain, using only their arms to aid with the dancing. Another dancer performed behind a cardboard Studebaker.

They wore poodle skirts and danced to a 1950s medley featured the songs "Rock Around the Clock," "Surfin' USA," "Twist and Shout" and "Hand Jive." Dancers included Louise Roseberry, Anna Steed, Karen Jarvis, Crystal Rodgers, Bernie Ferrell, Tina Ring, Belinda Roach and Carol Bugh.

"Tender Loving Care" received big laughs from the audience and several compliments on costuming and set design from the judges. "That was exceptionally entertaining," Lang said. "The musical selection made me want to dance along."

The Bingo Babes performed a parody song and dance for the fourth act. Residents and staff members sang a Community Care Center version of "Born to be Wild." They included bingo, therapy, pills and nurses into the tough song as they wore leather jackets, sunglasses, Harley-Davidson T-shirts and bandanas.

The parody included clever lines like: "Get your walkers rolling. Head out in the hallway. Looking for some bingo and whatever comes our way." Faye Tucker, Faye Stitt, Heather Graham, Heather Meir, Rechelle Dougherty and Robin Meditz performed the number.

The judges praised the parody as creative, but Rickels told the nurses they shouldn't quit their day jobs. Andreani said the residents looked pretty tough. "When I get back to work I'm calling the gang task force," he joked.

The fifth act was a comedic sketch titled "The Medical Office." Actors included Betty Smith, Robert Blanc, Lisa Stanley, Erik Haupt, Cindy Weatherspoon, Lori Underwood and Rosann Butler. Haupt played a patient in a doctor's office waiting room who caught the symptoms of other patients as they waited for the doctor. By the end of the sketch, he was coughing, sneezing, itching and twitching. When a character entered the office about to deliver a baby, Haupt exited the stage as fast as he could, in case her condition was contagious too.

The judges and audience laughed heartily each time Haupt contracted a new symptom. Rickels said the sketch had an excellent plot and the actors had excellent timing.

Actor Betty Smith thought her group performed well, and said it was difficult to make it through without laughing on stage. "I did laugh some, I couldn't help it. I had a great time. It was so fun," Smith said.

Margaret Rodi and Mark Taylor sang a duet together as M&M for the sixth act of Senior Idol. They performed a classic doo-wop about remembering summer love. Taylor sang the lead part and Rodi provided the trills and backup parts.

The judges commended both performers for their singing. Andreani was especially complimentary to Rodi. "She did the backup parts of three people in one," he said. Lang added that Rodi's high notes were impressive and the song was expressive.

The final act was a musical trio called Sounds of Home, which included Chester Bryant, Jim Edgell and Sonny George.

Bryant wrote the song 20years ago, which takes the listeners through Jesus' experience from Gethsemane to the cross. He and Edgell played guitar while George played the mandolin. Bryant lead the singing, but Edgell and George provided harmony.

The judges bobbed their heads throughout the performance and praised it when it was finished. All three judges said the song had a beautiful meaning. "I thought we were graced to hear that song," Andreani said.

Staff and residents performed a CCC version of the "Harlem Shake" as the judges tallied their scores.

Austin revealed that two acts tied for first place, "The Medical Office" skit and Sounds of Home earned the top scores. Bryant and his band performed an encore, which the audience greeted with a round of applause.

More than 80 people attended this year's Senior Idol. Underwood said the residents look forward to Senior Idol every year, and talk about it for days afterward. She said there is a friendly rivalry between the different acts as they practice and prepare.

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