Orland Township’s Senior American Idol celebrated its second show on May 6 and for the second year in a row, a Mezyk brought down the house.
This time it was Josh Mezyk.
In 2013, Orland Park’s Tom Mezyk won the inaugural event at Georgios Banquets in Orland Hills. The 60-year-old was ecstatic after he had the 900-plus in attendance pounding their tables while he tore through Phillip Phillips’ “Home.” He was also happy that he was able to perform an original tune, “I’ll Take Your Place.” He was touched by the crowd’s reaction to the song, which is about a convict who was about to be executed and met Jesus.
Then the man known to friends as “Deuce” and his wife took a trip with a group to the Holy Land in late June and early July and Mezyk suffered a fatal heart attack near the Western Wall.
It was shocking because those who knew him said he had no previous health problems.
This year’s Senior American Idol event featured a tribute to Mezyk, performed by his son, Josh.
Josh took the stage before the final five contestants were ready to battle it out for the 2014 title and sang a self-penned tune, “Living to Legend,” in honor of his old man. The song can be found on soundcloud.com/josh-mezyk along with some other tunes that he has written and performed.
When it was over, he received a thunderous ovation, just as his dad did a year ago. The song is both sad and uplifting and somehow, somewhere I imagine that pops heard it and was pretty proud.
More Idol talk
Like last year, this was a pretty solid show by folks who can just plain sing no matter what age they are.
This isn’t a bunch of geezers and geezettes messing around – these people have respectable chops and some have performed professionally. This isn’t amateur hour here.
The winner was Tinley Park’s Joe McElligott, who a few years ago had his career kickstarted when members of the Generations Band saw him singing at Sam Buca’s in Palos Heights. They call themselves an “old guy basement band” and perform around the area.
McElligott won over the judges but my favorite contestant was runnerup Kym Frankovelgia of Downers Grove. She was the only woman in the final five and her rendition of “Build Me Up Buttercup” killed. I don’t know how old she is – and I wasn’t going to ask her – but she had a lot of bounce and energy in her performance.
I was a bit disappointed that I got there in the second round and that Palos Hills’ Ray Parker and Palos Heights’ Beverly Opelka were already eliminated after the first round.
But the rest of the night was entertaining.
This is an event that drew 1,600-plus in the two events and money goes to the Township’s scholarship fund. I hope it continues to be a success.