Junior Idol winner can keep crown

ajames@newsobserver.comOctober 18, 2013 

— Montrez Bynum wasn’t supposed to enter this year’s Junior Clayton Idol competition.

The rules say, “No former Clayton Idol winners will be allowed to compete in the Clayton Idol competition.” Bynum was the Junior Clayton Idol in 2009.

But back then, the Junior Idol winner and Clayton Idol finalist competed against each other to produce one overall winner. Montrez, the junior winner, competed against Scotty McCreery, the Clayton Idol finalist. McCreery won.

Because her son wasn’t the overall winner, Gwendolyn Bynum saw no problem entering him in this year’s Junior Idol competition. “How I interpreted it was that since he was not the winner, he could compete,” she said.

The Clayton Chamber of Commerce, which stages the competition, had no record of past winners, so it didn’t spot Bynum when he entered this year’s contest. Because of that, and because the rule on past winner was subject to interpretation, the chamber will not penalize Bynum.

“It’s a lack of information on both parties,” said Mary Beth Roberti, events coordinator for the chamber.

The Idol competition has changed since 2009. The junior winner and Idol winner no longer compete against each other, so going forward there should be no confusion over the rule that bars former winners from competing again. Also, the chamber will compile and keep records of previous winners.

“All the (2013) winners will remain the same, and they will all be in the Christmas parade,” Roberti said.

In the adult division, this year’s winners were Chamille Chaney, first place, and Holly Harlowe, second place. In the teen division, Emilie Alioto was first, and Brooke Hawkins was second. Bynum won the junior division. Victoria Tomlinson was runner-up.

James: 919-553-7234

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