“‘Voice of Pride’ winners selected

Posted on 09 Aug 2007 at 7:34pm


JUST LIKE JUDY: Randall Garland, 2007 VOP winner.

After more than three-and-a-half hours, 25 performances and inspecting three wardrobe changes for 12 contestants, the winners of the 2007 Voice of Pride were announced at the Rose Room on Sunday night. And according to VOP organizer Michael Doughman, the scores for “first and second place were incredibly close the closest in Voice of Pride’s four-year history.”

Fusing gospel revival and R&B, Randall Garland won the contest, with Matt Brewer’s energetic “Hurricane Katrina dedicated” performance earning him first runner-up. Second runner-up, Juliana Jeffrey, wowed the crowd when she strutted out for her first number wearing a barely-there mini-skirt that flaunted a set of legs that would have made Tina Turner jealous. Emulating a Ferris Bueller-like style, third runner-up, Blake Askew, charmed everyone with a showtune from “Company.” And fourth runner-up Junye Butler sported a fierce pair of orange heels and tackled Gershwin’s “Summertime.”

Guessing who’d win and place seemed impossible. Voice of Pride isn’t solely a contest about vocal ability. A large fraction of the competition is about image.

Doughman said scores would not be released, although contestants can request them. The best score anyone could possibly achieve would be 250: 150 points for vocals, 60 points for presentation and 40 for appearance.

After four years, Voice of Pride is arguably the hottest singing contest in town. On Sunday, $5,000 was doled out: $3,000 for Garland, $1,000 for Brewer, $500 for Jeffrey, $250 for both Askew and Butler.

For the fifth year, how about slightly changing up finals night? Voice of Pride is so damn polite. How about the first round be a capella? Why not eliminate six contestants after the first round? How about some insight to the judges’ scoring?

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 10, 2007

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