South Shelby Chamber of Commerce American Idol judges Ryan Seacrest (Columbiana Councilman Stancil Handley), Randy Jackson (Harpersville Mayor Theoangelo Perkins) and Jennifer Lopez (Jennifer Nesbitt). (Reporter photo/Brad Gaskins)

Archived Story

South Shelby American Idol

Published 9:00pm Thursday, September 15, 2011

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – A new feature at an annual fundraiser for the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce was a big hit Thursday night.

The chamber added singing and dancing competitions modeled after “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”

“American Idol” judges scored both competitions, with Columbiana Councilman Stancil Handley as Ryan Seacrest, Harpersville Mayor Theoangelo Perkins as Randy Jackson and Jennifer Nesbitt as Jennifer Lopez.

The competitions were held along with the chamber’s fourth annual silent auction and tailgate party to raise money for a scholarship fund benefitting high school students in the chamber’s area. The chamber’s annual Jeff Faulkner Memorial Golf Tournament is Friday.

Handley, in character as Seacrest, said judging was “very difficult work not having Simon Cowell to bounce things off of.”

Perkins said the new competitions created a local buzz leading up to event.

“People have been talking about it for the last week,” Perkins said. “I didn’t realize so many people knew about it. I think (adding it to the night’s events) has helped.

“It’s been fun,” Perkins added. “I’m a big American Idol fan.”

The “Coosa Chicks” won the dance competition. Shannon Brooks, Risa Pope, Janean Wilson and Christy Knowles work together at Coosa Valley Medical Center.

From left: "Coosa Chicks" Shannon Brooks, Risa Pope, Janean Wilson and Christy Knowles (Reporter photo/Brad Gaskins)

“It was a lot of fun,” Knowles said. “We were very proud to come out and be a part of this.”

Chuck Terrell and Chris Phillips won the singing competition. They work together at First United Methodist Church of Sylacauga – Terrell as a youth minister and Phillips as a minister of worship and arts.

From left: Chuck Terrell and Chris Phillips. (Reporter photo/Brad Gaskins)

Six of the 10 available spots for the competition were filled, said Stacy Walkup, executive director of the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce.

“It was a fun way to enhance the event,” she said. “We were pleased.”

Local businesses donated 136 items for the auction. Last year, the auction raised $4,000 for the scholarship fund.

The South Shelby Chamber of Commerce serves Columbiana, Chelsea, Westover, Vincent, Wilsonville and Harpersville.

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