showstopping show tune and a bluesy ballad, 15-year-old
Ellen Jenders won the hearts of the judges and the
audience Tuesday night to become Waukeshaís first "Teen
The other participants also received high praise from the judges.
Travis Vrba, 17 and a senior at Waukesha South High School, performed
"My Sacrifice" by Creed, accompanying himself on the guitar.
"See that name?" Vrakas asked Vrba, pointing to the name on
the Les Paul Performance Center where the event was held. "Les Paul
would be very proud of you."
Hansen told Allison Day, 17, a senior at Catholic Memorial High School,
that itís obvious sheíll have a future on the stage after she
performed "No Good Deed," from the musical "Wicked."
Mackenzi Enright, 14, a freshman at Divine Savior Holy Angels High
School, got the crowd clapping with her upbeat performance of "Ž
Will Survive," which won kudos from Vrakas.
"My daughter says music is life and you brought that song to life
for us tonight," he told Enright.
Jenders said winning the Audience Choice Award meant a great deal to
"Itís the fans that keep you going," she said. "I just
figured that wherever place I ended up in, I had fun and enjoyed being
with the other contestants.
"Singing is my passion. Itís what I do."
Her father, Donald Jenders, credited his daughterís win to her hard
"She worked very, very hard each week to find music to fit with
her talent in the competition," he said. "It made me feel so
good to have her win. Iíve always told her that if you work hard,
positive things will come to her."
Her mother, Christine Jenders, dressed in a black T-shirt with her
daughterís name on front and the list of her songs in Teen Idol 07 on
the back, said her talent was evident even as a very little girl.
"She loved to twirl around and act out, even when very
young," she said. "She sings for the joy of it."