(Posted June 29, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The 2023 West Jefferson Ox Roast will feature Ox Idol, a new singers-only talent contest. The contest will take place on Sept. 3. The deadline to enter is July 26. Ox Roast weekend is Sept. 2-4.
“In the past, any type of talent was welcomed. To make the competition more fair, we’re going with a singing-only contest this year,” said A.J. Hymiller, Ox Roast entertainment coordinator.
The competition blends facets of “American Idol” and “The Voice,” two popular talent shows on television, Hymiller added.
Ox Idol is open to soloists and groups. The soloists will be divided by age category: 13 and younger, 14-18, and 19 and older. All groups will compete in one category, regardless of age. There is a limit of 15 entrants per category. If fewer than 10 contestants enter a category, organizers will combine categories/age groups as needed.
Cash prizes will go to the top two placers in each category. Prize amounts will depend on the number of entrants. The minimum prize amounts are: $50 for first and $30 for second for 13 and younger; $125 for first and $75 for second for 14-18 and 19 and older; $250 for first and $150 for second for groups.
The cost to enter is $10 for 13 and younger, $20 for 14-18 and 19 and older; and $40 for groups.
Registration is open now. Rules, regulations, and signup links can be found at www.westjeffoxroast.org and on the Ox Roast social media pages.
The contest will be an all-day event with three rounds and three judges. For the first round only, contestants will perform behind a curtain. This “invisible evaluation” is designed to prevent popularity from playing a role in the initial judging.
Each of the three judges will choose one contestant per category to move on to Round 2. Then, as a group, the judges will select an additional contestant per category to move on. After that, the audience’s votes will determine another four entrants per category to advance to Round 2. A total of eight entrants per category move on to Round 2.
In Round 2, the judges will pick two entrants per category to advance to the final round. The audience’s votes will decide another two entrants per category to move on.
In the final round, the audience will determine the winners and runners-up in each category. The judges will not participate.
For all three rounds, audience voting will take place online.
Anyone can enter the contest, regardless of where they live. All song selections will be pre-approved to ensure they are family friendly.
Also new to the Ox Roast this year is “TBD: The Improvised Musical!” This comedy show in the form of a musical is scheduled for 2:30-4 p.m. Sept. 2.
Closer to the date of the performance, Ox Roast organizers will ask the public to submit ideas for a theme for the show. At 2 p.m. the day of the show, organizers will present the improvisers with the submissions. The performers will choose their top three favorite theme suggestions, then make their final selection based on audience noise level. The theme submission form will be located on the Ox Roast website and social media pages.
The performers, all of whom hail from central Ohio, will then improvise a full-length musical on the spot for the audience. The group has been doing this kind of thing for many years. They can be seen the last Wednesday of each month at Natalie’s Grandview: Music Hall & Kitchen, 945 King Ave., Columbus.
Other Ox Roast entertainment
Other performers on the Ox Roast schedule are the West Jefferson High School jazz band (7:30 p.m. Sept. 2), Our Short Years (2-4 p.m. Sept. 4), and Victorious Kay Birds (5-7 p.m. Sept. 4). Our Short Years is back by popular demand. The public got to choose a band to make a repeat performance in 2023.