TYLER, Texas (KLTV/KTRE) - Fifteen East Texans will perform on the Liberty Hall stage this Friday at the live finale of East Texas Idol. The contest will be streamed live on East Texas Now.
Throughout the past few weeks, singers had the opportunity to enter the contest through an online submission portal powered by KLTV and KTRE. Some took the opportunity to audition at live remote auditions at Altra Federal Credit Union. A panel of five judges then scored the singers and formed a selection of 15 finalists.
Following Friday’s live performances, one of these contestants will win a trip to American Idol auditions at a judge’s city.
So who are these 15 singers? Let’s meet the finalists for East Texas Idol 2019!
Cara G. Campbell is a recent Tyler transplant currently working as a multimedia journalist at the Tyler Morning Telegraph. She loves all things creative, but her first artistic loves are singing and dancing. She has over 14 years of competitive dance experience and grew up performing in musicals at her local community theatre. She loves small animals, extra guac, lime green and singing loudly in her car. Although she rarely performs for a crowd anymore, she finds time to sing a little every day and is incredibly excited to compete in this year’s East Texas Idol!
Originally from Midlothian, Texas, Jaylon Crump is excited to have been chosen for the East Texas Idol Top 15. He currently attends Tyler Junior College as a Musical Theatre/Dance major. He has been singing as long as he can remember and has performed at numerous events. He has performed as The Leading Player (Pippin), Jean Valjean (Les Miserables), and Snoopy (You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown). Jaylon would like to thank his three best friend – Allie, Collin, and Rickea – for always sticking by his side.
Chassity Davis is 17 years old. She is a senior at Shelbyville High School in Shelbyville, TX. She plans to attend Panola College and major in music. Music has always been the biggest part of her life. From singing in church at 4 years old to currently singing at local festivals and churches. She is a 7-year member of the school marching band and is self-taught on the piano and drums. Music was always her get away from life when things were going wrong, but also when things were going right. God, music and my family is what got Chassity where she is and made her who she is.
A gifted entertainer with a seasoned voice, Josh Davis, can accompany himself with guitar. He has been performing for over 11 years. Josh is a multi-award-winning tribute artist and was named as one of the top 20 Elvis Tribute Artists in the world by Elvis Presley Enterprises in 2015. He has won many local and national awards including People’s Choice award in Memphis, Tn and has had the honor of working with many acts including The Coasters, T Graham Brown, Ronnie McDowell and more. Josh has always been a crowd pleaser and always performs high energy shows.
Karisia Hernandez, 18 years old, graduated from Tatum High School in May 2019 and is currently a full-time student at Sam Houston State University. She is also a part-time student at the Keynote School of Music. She was ETX Junior Artist of the Year in 2018 and ETX Latin Artist of the year in 2018. She will also be performing in this year’s East Texas Music Awards. This is Karisia’s second appearance in the East Texas Idol Top 15.
Steven Hibbard of Bullard began playing the guitar and piano when he was 11 years old. He began playing when his mother gave him an old guitar. Steven was able to teach himself how to play the instrument with no outside lessons. While Steven enjoys hanging out with friends, fishing and working out, his greatest love is writing and playing music. According to Steven, “No matter what goes on in life, I can always filter it with singing and playing the guitar”.
Local singer/song writer, Chel, has a style inspired by classic rock and modern pop music. Music is a huge part of her life as she is a private music instructor at Tyler Music Academy. She is studying music education at UT Tyler. For Chel, music is a passion, and she loves sharing that passion whether it is through performing or teaching. You can find her music on Instagram and Facebook.
Jayden Lyric has been interested in piano since she was six years old and completed her first song when she was ten. She didn’t start singing around town until her 15th birthday when she signed up for a singer-songwriter competition. You could say her talent is unique because most of her songs could not fit into any common genre! She is 16 now and ready to take the next step. Jayden’s goal is to dig into people’s heart and touch their emotions – perhaps even heal somebody! Or put them on that path. This is her second appearance in the East Texas Idol Top 15.
Ebonique Mapps was born in Longview. With a natural gift for singing, her passion for entertaining formulated at 8 years old when her mother, Essie, placed her alongside her older sisters to sing in a group called “The Nique Sisters”. In many ways Ebonique is a perfectly, genetically engineered, multifaceted woman being a beauty mogul, singer, rapper, dancer, actress, and businesswoman. Her vision is to empower not only those in her city, but everyone all over the world.
Jordan McAlister is an Electrical Engineer at Pike Engineering where he is contracted out to Swepco as a utility designer. After graduating from Letourneau University, he and his wife, Kaylee, moved into their home in Longview and had a daughter named Emerie. The couple has been faithfully serving at their church, Motion, for 5 years. But funny story, Jordan was just a bass player in the band, until his wife told a secret that Jordan could actually sing. And for three years, he’s been leading his church through his voice.
Shelby Monroe was born and raised in Longview. She comes from a family filled with singers and musicians, so music runs deep. Over the past few years, she has auditioned for American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent. She continues to cultivate her talent by singing with a local band and is a firm believer that with God, anything can happen.
Alexia-Raven (Alex) Phillips is 17 year-old. She was raised in Diboll, Texas by her grandparents. In her free time, she loves singing and drawing. She will be performing for her grandparents, mother, and sister. When asked about East Texas Idol, Alex says, “It doesn’t matter to me whether I win or not, I just hope I have fun along the way.”
A hardworking single mother, Angelina Sanders, is dedicated to making her babies and everyone around her feel joy and God’s constant love. Sanders believes there is a song for every situation in life. Last November, when her 17 month old passed in a drowning accident, she found healing in music. Lying beside him, praying that he’d make it through she did the only thing she knew to do – sing. She sang praises for healing and peace. That he would find his way home through her voice. She hopes that this contest teaches her children that no matter what happens in life, they can always pursue their dreams!
BJ Stephens, a 19 year old singer from Gilmer, fell in love with playing guitar when he was 15, and later learned to sing along. His biggest musical influences are Brooks and Dunn, Tyler Childers, Keith Whitley, and Bob Seger. Playing music is his dream, and it has been for a long time. He hopes to touch others with his music the same way that other artists’ music have touched him throughout his life.
Delaney Worth is a good girl who loves her momma, loves Jesus, and America too. Former band and theatre geek in high school, she is now a hair stylist at Infinity Salon in the small town of Eustace, where she was born and raised. She enjoys being on the worship team at Thrive Community Church. She is one of 7 children, has been described as having an old soul. She never goes anywhere without a smile.