By Marc Hibsher Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A passionate rendition of the classic Etta James song “At Last” won a Fiorello LaGuardia High School student the title of Teen Idol for 2012.
Taylor Leigh Cannon took home the top prize at the annual talent competition held Sept. 15 at Xaverian High School.
The event, sponsored by the Bay Ridge Community Council's Committee for Arts & Culture gave fifteen teen boys and girls ranging in age from 13 to 18 an opportunity to show off their vocal skills and earn a chance to win a $500 Grand Prize as well as $100 for being voted "Audience Favorite."
The preliminary rounds took place in June and July with students trying out from all over the borough and some from Manhattan as well. The final fifteen comprised of twelve girls and three boys that made it through those preliminaries gave it their all Saturday night in front of a packed auditorium of family and friends.
The show opened with speeches from Councilman Vincent Gentile and Community Council President Renee Dorsa as the crowd got ready for a great evening.
The event was hosted by Dawn Barry Hanson and emceed by Jeff Samaha and Karen Tadross. After all the performances by the contestants, beginning with Nicole Gatto 13, from Edward R. Murrow High School and ended with Nicolette Shin, 17, from Fontbonne Hall Academy, the judges took a break to decide on a winner. The panel of judges included Luis Salgado an original member of the Tony Award winning musical "In The Heights."
Taylor Leigh Cannon, whose vocal strength took her to hit all the right notes of Etta James "At Last," won the Grand Prize and Nicolette Shin, who warmed the audience’s heart with "I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miz took home the prize in the Audience Favorite category.