Local Crowd Attends Gimme the Mike Tapings

FOX50 Local Crowd Attends Gimme the Mike Tapings

Gimme the MikeAmerican Idol wraps up its third season on FOX50 this week, but a local phenomenon is just beginning. Last week Capitol Broadcasting Company’s Durham station taped the five semi-final shows for Gimme the Mike, a local competition in the style of AI.

From hundreds of auditions, a panel of judges selected 25 contestants to go head to head to become the Triangle’s newest musical star. On Wednesday, May 19, and Thursday, May 20, 2004, FOX50 opened the Fletcher Opera Theater in downtown Raleigh to public for tapings.

Gimme the Mike Contestants
Five contestants compete in each show, with host Jim Kelly & interviewer Debra Terry (both far r) keep things moving.
Gimme the Mike judges
The panel of judges (l to r) Faye Parker, Brian Dawson & Dick Hodgin offer their critiques.

Each 30-minute show will pit five semi-finalists against one another, each singing one song. A winner is selected at the end of each show, by three judges: Osceola Studios Producer Dick Hodgin, K97.5 WQOK Announcer Brian Dawson and Clay Aiken’s mom, Faye Parker. The finalists move on to a live show where they will compete for the grand prize.

Gimme the Mike taping
A large crowd begins gathering for one of the tapings.
Josh Ramos
Contestant Jeff Ramos sings his heart out.

The public will also get into the voting when the shows air on FOX50 in June. Viewers can go online and vote for one Wild Card from each show. Wild Card finalists will be announced during the WRAL’s 10:00 News on FOX 50, and after the fifth show, viewers will have 48 hours to vote online for the ultimate Wild Card finalist. That contestant will compete with the other five finalists on the live finale.


Contestant Kayla Thompson (center) gets ready for her turn on stage.

The Grand Prize:

  • An all expenses paid trip to New York for an audition with Sony, BMG & Universal record executives.
  • A free demo from Osceola Studios.
  • Singing the National Anthem at Durham Bulls game Saturday, July 10.
  • Appearance on Mix 101.5s “Homegrown Mix” (once demo is finished).

For each taping at least 400 members of the public became the studio audience, crowding into the theater. The numbers increased with each successive taping, with over 500 attending the taping for the final of the five semi-final showdowns.

For Gimme the Mike, MIX101.5 Personality Jim Kelly will be the Triangle’s very own Ryan Seacrest, playing host. Comedian/actress Debra Terry is conducting interviews backstage and helping Kelly entertain the crowd.

FOX50’s Gimme the Mike premieres Wednesday, June 2 at 7:30pm, and successive shows follow each week. The live one-hour finale airs Wednesday, July 7 at 8:00pm.

Thanks to FOX50’s Gerald Belton for these capcom photos.

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