Carmel Valley student wins ‘Greeks Got Talent’ competition
By Karen Billing
Emily Laliotis, a 15-year-old freshman at Canyon Crest Academy, was proclaimed the winner of the “Greeks Got Talent” competition on Feb. 18 in Ontario.Emily sang and strummed her guitar to the Adele song “Hometown Glory” to win the contest, which was judged in part by Greek recording star Thanos Petrelis and music producer Vangelis Giannopoulos.
“I’m very passionate about music, it’s been a huge part of my life since I was little,” Emily said.
In the performance, available for viewing on youtube, Emily sang with a rich, soulful voice, showing off her range with a pretty and soft soprano. The audience of about 2,000 people began to cheer mid-song when she hit a particularly powerful verse.
“This was fantastic really, I’m really amazed,” said judge Giannopoulos. “I’m a professional for 25 years and you’re just 15. This is absolutely great.”
Another judge said Emily gave her the chills and Petrelis said that Emily had a magnetic presence and hypnotized the audience.
There were about 12 other competitors in the contest, all of whom were “fantastic” Emily said. “It was really anyone’s game, there was such variety,” she said.
Her win earned her $1,000, a free trip to next year’s contest and a singing lesson with a Greek singer.
Emily has been singing as long as she can remember and started playing guitar three years ago—she often records songs to put up on youtube. The Carmel Valley resident also does musical theater and hopes to get more involved in CCA’s offerings.
Emily said she dabbles a bit in songwriting and is excited to take her school’s digital composing class next year.
Winning “Greeks Got Talent” was an honor for Emily as she is proud of her Greek roots. She does Greek dancing and is active in her church, Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Encinitas.
“It’s nice because I know a lot more about my culture and my heritage than a lot of kids do,” Emily said.
Check out Emily’s winning performance at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYdv0Pt4t3U
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