The four final contestants sang their songs as the first part of the 20th anniversary of the Mariachi Festival Sin Fronteras “Fiesta Popular 2011” at Rockwood Plaza to a crowd that continued to filter in as the night went on.
Most of them seemed confident after their final performances.
“I think I did well,” Betty Robledo, of Mexicali, said in Spanish.
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“It’s the first time I’ve been here (in the competition) and I’m fascinated with it,” she said. “Everyone did well but it depends on the people’s vote now.”
Robledo was right as fiesta officials continued to tally up the final vote-by-ticket submissions in the jars with each singer’s corresponding name.
Others were on the fence with their final vocal showcases.
“I think I did good but I think I could’ve done better,” 16-year-old Nestor Rivera, of El Centro, said, adding that his throat bothered him a little on Saturday.
“The past two performances I was on my game,” he said.
“I did well, more or less,” Imperial resident Eva Singer said. “It doesn’t matter if I win; I love singing,” she said.
And the crowd loved it too.
“I love it. They sing very beautifully,” El Centro resident Josie Valenzuela said.
“(We want) the boy from Southwest (to win),” her friend Elobia Diaz said. “I like him.”
“The older lady and the older gentleman,” Imperial resident Estella Sandoval responded when asked who her favorites were. “Their voices are really strong,” she said.
Yet well before it was announced that Imperial’s Felix Hernandez, winner of the $150 cash prize and title of “Mariachi Idol 2011,” was announced, he said he joined the competition just to promote the music for the youth.
“It’s a contest for the young people who want to see people in mariachi and it makes them want to get involved too,” Hernandez said in Spanish.
Staff Writer Roman Flores can be reached at 760-337-3439 or email@example.com