Marquette Superstar to showcase campus talent

Marquette Superstar judges evaluate talent of one participant's performance.

MUTV will showcase the university’s vocal talent this spring with the debut of the third annual Marquette Superstar competition.

The four Marquette Superstar judges heard 20 auditions Feb. 16, welcoming only 12 contestants back to this week’s round.

Theresa Kennedy, MUTV entertainment director and executive producer of Marquette Superstar, said the show will be aired weekly for the next four weeks, with one week off for spring break. The show will be taped on Tuesdays and aired online at MarquetteSuperstar.com later in the week.

After every episode, viewers can vote for their favorite contestant online. Each week, the three contestants with the fewest votes will be eliminated. The three final contestants will perform in a finale on March 27.

Kennedy, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said auditioning students were sent a list of about 25 songs in January. At last week’s auditions, contestants were asked to sing a 30-second piece from one of the selections.

For each round, contestants will choose a new piece from a predetermined list of songs. Because of time constraints, contestants will not sing full songs until the last two shows.

Each judge represents a branch of Student Media. Nicole Lindell, representing Marquette Radio, said she was excited to return for her second year of judging the competition.

“I think everyone likes to be judged at some point,” said Lindell, a senior in the College of Business Administration. “It’s fun to be able to tell people what you think and know that it’s ok.”

Lindell said she sees a big difference in talent from last year.

“People are taking it a lot more seriously,” she said. “I think people realized that it is a singing competition based solely on how well they sing.”

Host Alex Gelhar said he thinks viewership and online voting will grow based on the past success of Marquette Superstar. He said the crop of talented students who auditioned last week foreshadows potential for this year’s show.

“I’d say Marquette students are in for a treat,” said Gelhar, a junior in the College of Communication. “We have some charismatic contestants this year that are worth watching.”

Contestant Rachel Olinger, a freshman in the College of Communication, has been performing publicly since grade school. She said she is nervous about the competition, but she is also excited that she chose to audition.

“I just need to work on blocking everything else (out) and just singing,” Olinger said. “That’s what it is all about.”

Kennedy said Superstar is MUTV’s biggest and most anticipated show each year. According to Kennedy, the competition’s Web site received more than 2,000 hits last year.

Gelhar said events like Marquette Superstar are important because they have the ability to unite the campus and set Marquette apart from other universities.

“From singing in the competition, to working on producing the shows, to simply watching and voting, students have an opportunity to be a part of a collective activity that’s all about Marquette,” Gelhar said. “Superstar not only showcases the talent of Marquette students on the stage, but the show itself showcases the talent and commitment of the whole university.”