Incahoots expects crowds for finale

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 24, 2005

As millions of people across the nation tune in to watch the American Idol season finale tonight, hundreds of Bo Bice fans will flock to Incahoots Restaurant & Sports Arena in Helena to cheer on their hometown hero.

For the past few weeks, the restaurant’s owners, Harold and Claudia Deason, have joined in the community’s frenzied support for Bice by tuning their TVs on Tuesday and Wednesday nights to watch him perform.

&uot;We’ve been doing this for a few weeks now,&uot; Claudia Deason said. &uot;We’ve had a great response from the community.&uot;

Deason said she expects more than 100 people for tonight’s season finale.

&uot;Many of our customers say that this is where they started watching Bo, so this is where they’ll finish,&uot; she said.

The area’s obsession with Bo Bice has also done wonders for the Deasons’ business.

&uot;It’s been phenomenal for us,&uot; Deason said. &uot;There’s no way we could afford the publicity we’ve gotten from Bo’s run.&uot;

Nobody will be cheering louder for Bice as the Idol competition comes to a close than the Deasons and their customers, and you can bet they have already dialed in their votes.

&uot;The excitement of it all is very beneficial for our community,&uot; Deason said. &uot;Bo has been a great influence on the kids in our area. He’s genuinely a nice guy.&uot;

New Hope Presbyterian Church in Helena, Bice’s home church, has also been a regular hangout during &uot;Bice-watch.&uot;

The church has sponsored Tuesday night viewings of American Idol since the musician headed to Los Angeles to compete, and regulars at the church proudly call themselves the &uot;Bice-squad.&uot;

&uot;We think Bo’s already won,&uot; New Hope pastor Donny Acton said. &uot;Even if he doesn’t win, he has definitely won in our eyes, but we definitely believe Bo’s on top right now.&uot;

The church has cancelled its normal Wednesday night services to travel to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex where there will be a live feed of Bice’s supporters broadcasted to Hollywood throughout the final show.

&uot;We’ll be there shouting and screaming for Bo,&uot; Acton said.

The American Idol season finale airs tonight at 7 p.m. on Fox