Bay Ridge

Contestants preparing for Senior Idol auditions on Sept. 12

July 18, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Contest sponsor State Sen. Marty Golden congratulates the 2015 winner, Victoria Keller. Photo courtesy of Golden’s office
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If you’re older than 50 and think you have singing talent, here’s your chance to prove yourself.

Open auditions for the 10th Annual Brooklyn Senior Idol contest will take place on Monday, Sept. 12, at Xaverian High School, 7100 Shore Road in Bay Ridge, starting at 2:30 p.m.

The finals will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Xaverian High School, where a new Brooklyn Senior Idol will be crowned. The winner, who will be selected by a panel of judges and by a vote from audience members, will be awarded a $500 prize.

Last year’s winner was Victoria Keller.

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Sponsored by state Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn), Senior Idol is designed as a talent showcase for Brooklyn residents aged 50 and older.

The competition’s name is taken from “American Idol,” the immensely popular television show that ran on Fox for 15 seasons and made household names out of singers like Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson.

Contestants planning to attend the Sept. 12 audition can bring a CD or cassette tape for accompaniment, contest organizers said. A piano will be available. Participants can bring a guitar if they wish.

The finalists will be selected from among those who audition on Sept. 12.

“Every year, Brooklyn’s Senior Idol attracts some great talent from residents of our borough, who dazzle the crowd with renditions of some of the greatest songs of all time,” Golden said in a statement. “This year, as we begin to plan the 10th Annual Senior Idol show, I look forward to another truly entertaining event which has become a very anticipated community tradition. So if you can sing, be sure to try out.  And if you want to see a great show, join us at Xaverian High School on Oct. 1.”

Tickets for the finals are $10 per person and can only be purchased at the door.

All of the proceeds from the contest will go toward the Xaverian High School music program. The money will be used to fund scholarships and to purchase new musical instruments, Golden said.

In 2015, Golden ran into hot water with the producers of “American Idol,” who demanded that he change the name of his contest.

Golden received a cease and desist letter from a law firm representing FreemantleMedia North America, producers of “American Idol,” suggesting that he stop using the name “Senior Idol” for his contest or face possible legal action.

“Senior Idol” was too similar to “American Idol,” the Fox show’s high-powered lawyers warned Golden.

“While our client appreciates your enthusiasm for the American Idol and Idol brands, as a federal trademark owner, FremantleMedia cannot allow the unauthorized use of the Brooklyn Senior Idol mark in connection with talent competition services. Cease using the Brooklyn Senior Idol mark in connection with your talent competitions and remove…any advertisements, promotions, signs or other material containing the Brooklyn Senior Idol mark,” the letter read.

In response, Golden planned to change the name of his talent show to avoid getting dragged into court over copyright infringement.

But the producers eventually backed off, according to Golden, who said lawyers for FremantlMedia contacted him and said all was forgiven.

“I thank ‘American Idol’ for reaching out to my office in light of the attention we brought to the issue of the name of our highly regarded ‘Brooklyn Senior Idol’ talent show,” Golden said.

For more information on Brooklyn Senior Idol, or to register for auditions, contact Golden’s office at 718-238-6044 or email [email protected].


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