NORRISTOWN — Ryan Beil has made history as the first male Montco Idol.
As the artist who prevailed with the judges and readers in a 50-50 voting decision, the Methacton High School sophomore will head into the studio to craft a radio-ready demo recording at Forge Recording in Oreland.
While it’s probably too soon to speculate, odds makers may not be too far off the mark with predictions that Beil’s demo will feature a song covered by Adele.
The soulful British chanteuse’s song selections have already been lucky charms of sorts for Beil, the grandson of an opera singer.
Beil worked his way into the top three finalists’ circle with a video of his rendition of The Cure’s “Lovesong,” a tune he became enamored of through Adele’s version that arrived 22 years after the 1989 original hit.
“Both versions are fantastic,” said Beil, moments before taking the Elmwood Park bandshell stage on Saturday for the Crying Sam Elmwood Jam 4 The Hill.
Beil was the last Montco Idol finalist to perform, following 12-year-old Jocelyn Rausch and her rendering of “Not About Angels,” and Kassidy Kimata, who treated the crowd to her take on Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”
It was Beil’s sober, heartfelt performance of another Adele-interpreted song, Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love,” that struck a chord with judges Alaina Nelson, Gene Frank and Brendan McGeehan.
“There was a nice intensity there and you took chances with the melody,” McGeehan said. “Because we’ve all heard the song before and you put your own twist on it.”
Frank noted the “shaping and the quality of what you’re doing with your voice, especially in the higher range.”
Although Jocelyn had won the popular vote, Beil ultimately triumphed in the professional assessment department, winning over the judges.
In his bio, Beil, a relative newcomer to exploring his vocal talents, credited his grandfather as his musical motivation.
“As a Holocaust survivor and immigrant to America, he sang opera in his prime and was still singing up until his passing in 2012. He had always been an inspiration to me in life and in music.”
Although it appears that he may be playing piano in his Montco Idol video, Beil admitted that keyboard prowess isn’t one of his abilities.
“I don’t play piano – yet,” he said.
Nor does he sing opera.
“We think I get the music thing from (my grandfather), but I don’t really have an opera voice,” Beil said, grinning.
Beil should feel right at home when he heads into Forge Recording to claim his prize.
Working with a vocal coach for the last couple of years, he’s been no stranger to the art of home recording.
“I’ve been independently recording music (in my basement) for quite some time,” said Beil, who lives in Collegeville.
Beil follows on the heels of 2013 Montco Idol Francesca Rose Venezia and last year’s winner, Tammy Tuckey.
The second-place Montco Idol winner Kassidy Kimata will receive a $500 prize package, with a $250 prize package will go to third-place winner Jocelyn Rausch.
To watch the live performances by the Montco Idol Top 3 finalists, visit http://bit.ly/3rd-annual-Montco-Idol and click on the “Vote” tab.
Story by Gary Puleo. To contact Gary, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.