Thirteen singers braved the afternoon heat last week to showcase their singing talents, but 10-year-old Kriesha Tiu raised the bar to unreachable heights early in the competition with her first-place rendition of Celine Dion’s “I Surrender.”
The pint-size Marsh Creek Elementary School fifth-grader blew the judges away with her powerful pipes, which stopped all the action during the Downtown Brentwood festivities. The crowd cheered as she hit the high notes that would have given Grammy-winner Dion a run for her money.
Kriesha, who began singing lessons at age 7, said her Brentwood Idol trophy would go with the other awards she’s won during her brief career, which include winning back-to-back titles at the Alameda County Fair Talent and Performing Arts Competition in 2008 and 2009 and placing in the top 10 at the Best New Talent Competition held at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles last year.
“I love to sing,” Kriesha said. “I’ve been practicing this song for a while, and it was really exciting to sing it for everyone.”
Kriesha said she’d like to buy a puppy with her $100 in prize money, but she’ll need to convince her parents first.
Katy Pasion, who brought her own cheering section with her, took second place with her touching performance of Martina McBride’s “Broken Wing,” and Jill Horn and Susannah Meyer took third with their energizing a cappella rendition of the World War II era hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”
Other highlights of the event included an electric performance of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” by Vance Pasquinelli, an adorably rockin’ rendition of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” by Ian Gardizi, 8, and a soulfully heartbreaking version of R.E.M’s “Everybody Hurts” by 9-year-old Matthew Parry-Jones.
Master of Ceremonies Annette Beckstrand said that considering the number of impressive performances, next year’s competition would need to be divided into age groups.
For video highlights of the Brentwood Idol competition, click here.