Nobody was more floored than Madison Kinney when her name was called as winner of the Riverview Idol competition earlier this week.
“I thought a senior would win,” the freshman said, moments after the announcement.
But not long after former American Idol contestant Jeremy Rosado mistakenly called out Kinney’s name, the judges revealed to choral director Elizabeth Stewart the name of the actual winner – Monica Krajewski.
Krajewski has graciously agreed to share the Idol title with Kinney. Stewart is calling it “MK Squared,” since both girls have the same initials.
Other contestants competing in the final of three competitions, were Yliana Nieves, Jessie Robinson and Christie Setteducate.
“All five of those girls were worthy of winning,” Stewart said. “Human errors happen all the time and as the person who created this competition to help develop students, we are going to honor the fact that Madison’s name was called. Her performance was worthy of a win. But, we are also going to honor who the audience chose.”
Stewart said Rosado felt terrible about his mistake, which has prompted a change for the winner announcement in the future. From now on, she said, only one name will be handed to the person announcing a winner. There were multiple names on the slip handed to Rosado and he did not fully open the paper, Stewart said.
Krajewski was gracious about the whole incident.
“Whenever Jeremy Rosado announced Madison’s name, I was very happy for her,” she said. “When I was approached that there was a problem, I knew Ms. Stewart felt terrible about what happened. I’m very grateful to be able to share the title with Madison. She’s a sweet girl.”
Krajewski, a 16-year-old sophomore at Riverview, said she found her passion for singing as a fourth-grader performing in her first stage play. Using her deep, throaty voice during the Idol competition finals, Krajewski performed “Talking to the Moon” by Bruno Mars and “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield.
“I really hope I grow up to be a singer,” she said. Krajewski said she wants to make people feel good by hearing her voice.
During her performance, Kinney sang Sara Bereilles’ “Many the Miles”, then played piano and sang to Journey’s “Faithfully.”
The 15-year-old said Journey, a 1980s rock band, sparked her love of music while she was in elementary school. For now, though, she said she’s just enjoying the music and working to make it through high school.
The Idol competition is a fundraiser for choral activities at Riverview High and will help fund trips to various competitions.
“This matters a lot to the kids,” Stewart said. “I feel blessed to work at a school with this level of talent.”