CALEXICO – As families roamed in with traditional Mexican outfits, the three-day 2017 Mariachi Idol contest began with six local talents Tuesday afternoon at the 26th Mariachi Festival Sin Fronteras held at the Carmen Durazo Cultural Arts Center. The event is organized by the Calexico Chamber of Commerce.
While the community settled in and admired the handmade Mexican crafts, the judging panel, which consisted of 2017 Señorita Mariachi Andrea Soto; Ruben Moreno, manager of United Realty Group; and the Chamber of Commerce committee members of special events David Canez and annual Mariachi Festival Gil Acuña; settled into their seats for the opening of the competition.
Tuesday’s contestants were Stella Jimenez, representative for Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia, 12-year-old Calipatria resident “La Flor Del Valle Imperial” Daniela Perez, Beatriz Robledo, manager of Calexico’s Holiday Inn Express, 80-year-old Alejandro Becerra Sanchez, and Calexico residents Esther Alicia Marquez and Maria Elena Suarez.
To start, Jimenez went up to the spotlight and warmed the atmosphere with her song “Fue Un Placer Conocerte” by Juan Gabriel.
“I’ve been living in Calexico for 12 years now and I listened to Mexican traditional music with my parents,” said Jimenez to the attendees. “This are the songs I grew up with and it’s something that I enjoy doing. If you don’t try, you don’t get anywhere, so wish me luck!”
With affectionate applause, young contestant Perez, who was wearing a vivid Mexican traditional dress, sang “No Llega El Olvido” by Jenni Rivera and “Adios Mi Amor” by Los Dareyes de la Sierra. The excited audience let out shouts of pride as Perez fearlessly finished her tune with her arm in the air.
As well as with Perez’s presentation, the crowd delighted in Becerra’s and Marquez’s performances who raised the crowd in amazement from their singing.
At last, contenders Robledo and Suarez ended the competition with bold Mexican pop songs that flowed through the room with cheers and encouragement. Also, Calexico resident Gerardo “Eddie” Paez sang a song to entertain the public as the judges deliberated.
With tough choices to decided between all six participants, the judges chose three competitors to move on in the competition. Hildy Carrillo, executive director of Calexico Chamber of Commerce presented Jimenez, Robledo, and Perez as the winners.
The three winners will move on to Wednesday’s semi finals and the winner will perform Saturday during the last day of festivity at the 26th Annual Mariachi Festival Sin Fronteras concert.