By ROB LESTER****In what the publicist/co-producer Beck Lee describes as a tight race, one champion finalist has “eked out a photo-finish win in one of the most competitive MetroStar contests in years,” thanks in part to her final mini-set in the annual singing competition with “a dazzingly original interpretation of the ‘80s disco anthem ‘It’s Raining Men,’” at the cabaret/jazz venue. Her name is Emily Ellet. Her experience includes performing in shows aboard the Princess cruise line and at the midtown club Don’t Tell Mama, like such past MetroStar winners as Anne Steele, Liz Lark Brown, Marissa Mulder, and two whose surnames rhyme: Roe and Lowe—- Billie Roe (a judge in the competition) and Kristoffer Lowe.
As an actress, Ms. Ellet has also done film work as a Union member of the Screen Actors Guild and she’s also part of AFTRA and her speaking voice has been employed for the narration for over 125 audiobooks. Her theater roles range from Shakespeare to the mother of the title character who is obsessed with the color pink in the popular children’s musical Pinkalicious! The seven-week contest offers suggestions and feedback from judges and coaching from others in cabaret, with points given in votes by the judges as well as the audience in the Monday sessions. Singers chose their repertoire throughout the contest, with some choices for repeating songs to show improvement and growth assigned by the panel.
The first runner-up is Anthony Alfaro (pictured at right, cast member of the recently closed off-Broadway musical The View UpStairs), with third place prize and the new Innovation Award going to Joan Crowe, known to longer-term cabaret-goers for her shows that mix songs and comedy, hosting at The Iguana, and two CDs–one of which (seen below) was recorded live at the Metropolitan Room.
The other finalists were 16-year-old Jackie Mate, who was voted the Audience Favorite Award ,and Evan Dolan, who won the Best New Artist Award.
The 2016 MetroStar David Baida spent his first night following the closing of the Broadway show he’s been in for its entire run, On Your Feet, to entertained while the votes were being counted up. The winner will be presented in her own show in 2018 at the Metropolitan’s new location and the runners-up will take turns as her opening act.
See earlier items on the contest for background information.