Winners of the 2017 Wilson Idol

2017 Wilson Idol Winners Alayla Jenkins and Elijah Whitley with Dr. Mildred Summerville. Source: Wilson Idol
2017 Wilson Idol Winners Alayla Jenkins and Elijah Whitley with Dr. Mildred Summerville. Source: Wilson Idol

Dr. Mildred Summerville is excited to announce the 2017 Wilson Idol Winners.  The fifth-annual Wilson Idol was an evening of performance that honors a person who is greatly venerated in his or her community and epitomizes outstanding talent.  This event showcased performances exhibited through song, instrumentation and the spoken word.  Wilson Idol opened the doors for many participants and exposed them to the greater Wilson Community and beyond.

This year Wilson Idol paid special tribute to a select group of honorees Dr. Summerville calls “Tall One Champions.”  The Tall One Champion’s Award Program pays particular recognition to individuals for their hard work, perseverance, and meritorious contributions in their communities. The chosen honorees have impacted their communities through various educational initiatives such as the performing arts, community services, education and outreach ministries. This year’s 2017 honorees were: Phyllis Vick, Leonard Slagle, Tracy Gordon, Esther Gordon, Dr. Mural Lanier, Pastor Victor Baines, and Dr. Raymond Summerville.

The Wilson Idol winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges: the McDonald Sisters of Fayetteville, North Carolina, which included the mother and 4 daughters: Priscilla McDonald, Deborah Scriven, Valerie McDonald, Pamela McDonald-McClain, and Evelyn McDonald-Miller.  The Wilson Idol winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize, a trophy, a stellar-certificate, and will be featured in TCP Magazine, Gospel Fever Internet Magazine, Wilson Times, The Grey Area News, and social media outlets. Additionally, the winner will be given an opportunity to perform for Pastor Shirley Caesar, Queen of Gospel.

The winners of the 2017 Wilson Idol are as follows:

  • Grand Prize Winner, Alayla Jenkins,
  • 1st runner-up  youth division, Elijah Whitley,
  • 2nd runner-up winner, Jada Williams,
  • 3rd runner-up, Jack Fernandez & Noah Buck (Plywood Smile).

Winners in the adult categories are:

  • 1st runner-up-adult division, Lindsay Cookson,
  • 2nd  runner-up, Angela Smith-Kent, and
  • 3rd runner-up, Minister Alpha Middleton.

Among the highlights of the evening, Dr. Summerville received two awards during The Wilson Idol Festivities from the Tall One Champions. This esteemed group is comprised of 17 members. Summerville received the following awards: Playwright of the Year and Gospel Play of the Year, which gave tribute to her dramatic interpretation of “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child”. Further, Summerville was acknowledged for the Talent Show of the Year, as vivified in “Wilson Idol”.

Initiated in 2013, The Wilson Idol Talent Show is sponsored and produced by Dr. Mildred Summerville. It was during this initial year that the WTT Majestic Choir was nominated as winners, 2014 winner, Eric Fleming, 2015 winner, Patrice Farmer, 2016 winner, Alexander Blount, and 2017 winner, Alayla Jenkins (12 years old). “Witnessing these amazing and exhilarating exhibitions of talent from persons of various ages afforded memories that the audience will never forget.

The Wilson Idol Band was superb: Zyyayre Johnson, 2014 Instrumental Winner, is the lead guitar player, other Wilson Idol band members include Rod Lewis, Jesse Johnson, Brian Pitt, and Brandon Farmer.  Wilson Idol contestants, who were tutored by the vocal coach, Tam Johnson, and were accompanied by the Wilson Idol background singers, Tiana Mathews and Laniya Williams.

Dr. Summerville continues her energetic dedication to the greater Wilson community and lives out her philosophy  which is to build a solid Art Foundation that serves all ages ranging from preschool ages 3 years old up through age 60+. This is why A’Niye Moultrie, 3-year-olds opened up the Wilson Idol Show. She was simply unbelievable as she recited “Hey Black Child”.

It is through these new and innovative outlets that we focus on the importance of Performing Arts that have the potential to foster comprehensive, intellectual, social, and emotional development for all individuals.

Dr. Summerville concludes her dedicated work by congratulating all the 2017 contestants in the Award-Winning Wilson Idol Talent Show as it continually offers a fantastic opportunity that showcases diverse talent.

The phenomenal success of the Fifth Annual Wilson Idol could not have become a reality without the ever-increasing allegiance and zeal of all its contestants. Through your talents and commitment to providing the audience with a gratifying and compelling experience, the Wilson Idol 2017  was a resounding success. Please accept my compliments for the supportive role you played in contributing your gifts of time, energy, and talents. I would like to express a heartfelt “Thank You.” Remember, all of you are winners and Wilson, NC is a better place because of you.


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