Thad Scherer is finally getting his big break. The freshman was one of twelve USC students who competed in USC College Star, a collegiate singing competition modeled after American Idol, on Thursday at the Belasco Theater.Scherer, who is majoring in theatre, has won $1,000 and will now have the opportunity to produce and record his own single with Grammy-winning producers.USC College Star started out with Brent Freed’s vision to bring the competition to USC’s campus. A junior at UC Berkeley and the founder and CEO of the organization, Freed successfully launched the show at his own school before deciding to give it a shot at USC.“I wanted to create a unique platform for college students to showcase their talent and meet other talented students,” Freed said. “Our goal is to have contestants leave our show inspired to pursue their music and also use it to do good in the world.”Anyone who wished to participate was welcome to submit an audition video through College Star’s online channel. From there, 24 applicants were selected to participate in a “Boot Camp” Weekend, and 12 of them advanced to the final round at the Belasco.Each student performed a song of their choice and was evaluated by a panel of four judges. The winner was determined by the judges’ scores, combined with votes from the live audience.Scherer chose to sing a mash-up of “S&M” by Rihanna and “Earned It” by The Weeknd. After all the scores and votes were calculated, Scherer was announced the official winner of USC College Star 2016.“Winning College Star felt like a dream,” Scherer said. “I imagined every great moment I’ve had at USC … and all those moments combined might have gotten close to how special it felt to perform on stage.”Freed explained that he created the live show aspect of College Star specifically to give contestants a greater stage and more performance experience.“Not every college student is pursuing a music major,” Freed said. “I wanted to give anyone who is passionate about music — engineers, philosophers, a cappella singers — the chance to perform in front of hundreds of people, meet industry experts and simply grow as an artist.”This year, the live show was hosted by Grant Genske, the winner of College Star UC Berkeley 2014. Having won the competition previously, Genske found it very rewarding to be on the other side this time and help students showcase their talents.“It was a total pleasure to host College Star and work with these 12 wonderful students,” Genske said. “Our judges were insightful and fun, the top 12 students were flawless in their performances, and the crowd was lively and engaged — that’s everything we can hope for in this show.”The only one to combine two songs in his performance, Scherer is grateful he had this opportunity to showcase his own arrangement.“It is so unique to find a university that fosters so much passion,” Scherer said. “Whether it be electrical engineering or music, you can tell how much dedication and love people put into the things they are doing here, and I could really see that in each and every performance during the finals.”
The first of seven races goes to post at 2.05pm. Course manager Andrew Hogan says its going to be a great day out The in-form Elliott stable features “Taglietelle” and “Bayan” while Mullins saddles top-weight “Thousand Stars” and Ruby Walsh’s mount “Diakali”.