Sophia Parise wows them to win Riverhead Idol Contest

JOHN NEELY PHOTO | Sophia Parise (left) accepts her first place award from Rose Sanders in the ninth annual Riverhead Idol contest.

Riverhead Middle School student Sophia Parise of Jamesport won the first-place award at the ninth annual Riverhead Idol Contest.

The event, held on Saturday night at the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, drew 14 contestants who performed in front of a sellout crowd.

The winner wowed the judges and the audience with her performance of “Unchained Melody.” Savannah Medina, who sang “I’ll Be There,” captured the second place spot and Dakota Cohen garnered third place with his rendition of “December, 1963.”

This year’s Idol contest was again sponsored by the Riverhead Youth Bureau Advisory Board and was a celebration of the sounds of Motown. Councilman Jim Wooten acted as master of ceremonies and the judges were Ed Tholl, Bob Brown, Laura LaSita and Barbara Blass.

JOHN NEELY PHOTO | Winners of the Idol Contest.