Cannon Idol: Overcoming shyness, airman takes top prize

Jessica Kiser

Liliana Castillo

Not only did Airman 1st Class Jennifer Edwards of the 27th Special Operations Medical Support Squadron overcome her shyness to even audition for Cannon Idol in May, she won the competition Saturday at The Landing Zone.

When she was the last one standing on stage, indicating that she won, she said she was shocked, amazed and elated. Edwards said her nerves almost kept her off the stage all together.

“I never thought I could finish,” she said. “I thought I was going to sneak out before today came.”

Edwards said she is shy and when asked about her win said, “I’m not really like this.”

The judges barely felt her nerves, asking her to be more confident but giving her resounding compliments and insisting that she never stop singing.

“My parents traveled eight hours just to watch me and stayed up all night with me helping me prepare. That gave me a lot of confidence. If I can do it for them at home why not here?” Edwards said.

Edwards’ win garnished her the title of 2010 Cannon Idol, $300 and a two-hour recording contract with local musician Johnny Mulhair.

The event included nine finalists after one dropped out of the competition. The program, run by the Cannon Community Center, works like the show and is intended to showcase singing ability.

Civilian Cherill Hamilton of the 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron and Norris Fields of the 27th Special Operations Wing Judge Advocate Program were the other two finalists. Hamilton won $200 for second and Fields won $100 for third.

Airmen 1st Class Marcus Shannon of the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Operations Squadron also received compliments from the judges and tables’ worth of attendees left when he wasn’t named a finalist.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “I’m shocked.”

Shannon, 22, said he wasn’t upset because he joined the competition mainly in search of the talent of others.

I produce, write and record,” he said. “ I wanted to see what talent there is here.”

Shannon said he’s been producing, writing and recording since he was in seventh grade.

“I got a couple of numbers. Overall, this was worth it,” he said.

Paul Hopkins, Community Center director, said about 250 people attended the event.

“It went well,” he said. “The contestants did a fantastic job.”