CALEXICO -Â 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 SeÃ±orita 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 AcuÃ±a; settled into their seats for the opening of the competition.
Tuesdayâ€™s contestants were Stella Jimenez, representative for Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia, 12-year-old Calipatria resident â€œLa Flor Del Valle Imperialâ€ Daniela Perez, Beatriz Robledo, manager of Calexicoâ€™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 â€œFue Un Placer Conocerteâ€ by Juan Gabriel.
â€œIâ€™ve been living in Calexico for 12 years now and I listened to Mexican traditional music with my parents,â€ said Jimenez to the attendees. â€œThis are the songs I grew up with and itâ€™s something that I enjoy doing. If you donâ€™t try, you donâ€™t get anywhere, so wish me luck!â€
With affectionate applause, young contestant Perez, who was wearing a vivid Mexican traditional dress, sang â€œNo Llega El Olvidoâ€ by Jenni Rivera and â€œAdios Mi Amorâ€ 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 Perezâ€™s presentation, the crowd delighted in Becerra’s and Marquezâ€™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 â€œEddieâ€ 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 Wednesdayâ€™s semi finals and the winner will perform Saturday during the last day of festivity at the 26th Annual Mariachi Festival Sin Fronteras concert.