Students compete to become the next OU Idol, raise money for Bobcats for Babies

The battle may be on to become the 13th-annual American Idol, but Ohio University students will take to the stage Tuesday evening for the chance to become the campus’ next OU Idol.

The event, put on by Bobcats for Babies, will allow students to show off their vocal skills while also supporting The March of Dimes, a group that is concerned with the well-being of newborn babies.

OU Idol will be set up similarly to the American Idol TV singing competition. A panel of judges will await each contestant and listen to them perform a song of choice.

“We’re going to have three judges from the School of Music and they will decide together on a winner,” said Nikohl Kennedy, vice president of Bobcats for Babies and a senior studying nursing.

Unlike the TV series, performers will be able to perform an entire song before being “booted,” from the competition. The judges will take notes during performances and reveal OU’s Idol at the end of the show.

Students are also permitted to play instruments for accompaniment, although no current contestants have mentioned plans to do so.

Kennedy Daughenbaugh is no stranger to the limelight. She’s done karaoke before, taken voice lessons and participated in talent shows. Daughenbaugh plans to sing a Miranda Lambert song for the competition.

“Before I go up on stage I’m a complete mess, (I get) so many butterflies,” said Daughenbaugh, a sophomore studying music production.

She said once she actually begins singing, the nervousness goes away and she powers through whatever her performance.

Currently there are three other contestants in addition to Daughenbaugh.
Ninety percent of the proceeds from the event will go to the March of Dimes.

Those funds will help the organization research problems that often face newborns.

The members of Bobcats for Babies have had the chance many times to see the actual impact of their fundraising work beyond events like OU Idol. Kristin Stump said she attends events that the March of Dimes Columbus affiliates hosts.

“Every big event that the Columbus affiliates put on have an ambassador family, and the family or the child tell their story,” said Stump, president of Bobcats for Babies and a senior studying communication sciences and disorders. “I’ve cried at every single one of them. It’s amazing what the March of Dimes can actually do.”

This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Students compete
to become OU’s Idol"


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