American (Sign) Idol

The fifth annual ASL Idol showcased 11 scoring acts that celebrated ASL and deaf culture

By: Chloe Steinig

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – On April 5, the fifth annual Sign Idol was held in Dunleavy Hall. Hosted by the American Sign Language Club, over 11 acts signed to songs of their choice in front of judges Nanette Harmon, Krista Rahelich, and Cathie Gibbons, who are all involved in the ASL and Deaf Studies programs at the university. Acts were judged based on their signing, their flow, and overall presentation. Acts were vying for both the Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice awards.

Maham Alamgir, Anna Capello, and Lindsay Moran started the night off by signing to “Helpless” from Hamilton. Michael Ta followed after with a song from the same musical in a non-scoring number “Satisfied”. Musicals seemed to be popular throughout the night, with Jade Watkins and Ryan Delola signing a duet to High School Musical’s “The Start of Something New” and Jade King performing “Bet on It” from the same popular Disney film.

Mary Cerosimo signed to “Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran. CJ Tripi signed to classic song “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin. Ta performed a second time for scoring to “Confrontation” by Jekyll and Hyde. Angelina Wronski signed to “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner. Nicole Essig did a emotional tribute to her deaf friend that passed away last year to “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw. Elly Riddell signed to “Momma Sed” by Puscifer. Riley Anatolia signed to “Crash and Burn” by Savage Garden. Closing the night off, Maggie Gerard signed to “Somebody to Love” by Queen.

Ta and Essig tied for the Judge’s Choice award. Gerard won the People’s Choice award.

The American Sign Language Club will be hosting another ASL music interpreting event with YouTube star Amber Gallowy Gallego on April 19 at 6 p.m. Anyone who wishes to attend must reserve a seat by emailing by April 14.

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