South Bay Teen Idol

Produced by the JCC, South Bay Teen Idol is an “American Idol” style competition that crowns the best teenage singer in the South Bay. Teenage vocalists in 8th-12th grades are eligible to compete.

Auditions are in January each year before a panel of judges.  On the basis of the auditions, 20 teens are chosen to advance to the semi-finals, and then 10 contestants advance to the finals. Along the way, all the semi-finalists and finalists rehearse with professional vocal coaches and choreographers while enjoying the chance to bond with their fellow program participants, teens who share similar interests. At the finals, the judges choose the top 3 contestants and then the audience votes for its favorite. The first-place winner receives a $2,500 prize, as well as a donation of $500 to the winner’s school. The second and third place winners also receive prizes.

Announcing our 2019 Dates

Auditions: Video auditions were January 14-20.
Semi-Finals: Saturday, February 9 at 7:00pm.
Finals: Saturday, March 30 at 7:00pm.

The public is invited to watch the Semi-Finals and Finals performances. Ticket information coming soon.

For more information, contact Diana Schnabel-Arevalo, the JCC’s South Bay Teen Idol Producer, at [email protected] or call 408.357.7402.

Congratulations to our 2019 Semi-Finalists

  • Naisha Agarwal, Saratoga High School
  • Kayla Alamban-Castro, Monte Vista High School
  • Benjamin Anderson, Oak Grove High School
  • Felicia Chang, Irvington High School
  • Julia Cook, Adrian Wilcox High School
  • James Disalvo, Branham High School
  • Ava Gangi, Los Gatos High School
  • Hazel Gerson-Rosenthal, Los Gatos High School
  • Aasha Jain, Valley Christian High School
  • Bella Kurani, Fisher Middle School
  • Zara Lokuge, Castilleja High School
  • Arina Oberoi, Pinewood High School
  • Ann Schenkman, American High School
  • Lisha Sebastian, Notre Dame High School
  • Sean Seider, Branham High School
  • Mailynn Severson, Valley Christian Middle School
  • Kasvi Singh, Design Tech High School
  • Mridu Srivastava, Westmont High School
  • Santoshi Tirumala, Harker High School
  • Lillyana Vaugh, Leigh High School

Thank You To Our South Bay Teen Idol 2019 Sponsors

South Bay Teen Idol is made possible, in part, through Diamond level sponsorship by Coldwell Banker/Bill Lister, and Platinum level sponsorship by San Jose Youth Symphony.

South Bay Teen Idol supports local teens and the JCC! To become a sponsor of South Bay Teen Idol 2019, contact Diana Schnabel-Arevalo, the JCC’s Director of Hospitality and Special Projects, at [email protected]or 408.357.7402.

How you will benefit:
Participation in South Bay Teen Idol means your product, company, or community gem will receive exposure to thousands and thousands of people. Each week, more than 13,000 people walk through the doors of the JCC’s sprawling 9-acre Los Gatos campus to participate in fitness, adult education, preschool, community classes, and much more. Our website receives 11,000 unique visitors each month. Our monthly email blast goes to 9,000 people. In our quest to find the best local amateur vocalist, we reach out to more than 100,000 high school students in the South Bay, contacting more than 100 schools.

The 2019 judges will be announced soon.

The 2018 judges were:

  • Robert Hayes is the founder, chairman and C.E.O. of Sound Management Inc. He is best known for managing the multi-platinum Grammy nominated band Smash Mouth, among several other Chart topping and award winning recording artists. He has also made his mark as one of the premier music licensing Executives in the Entertainment industry working with brands such as Coke-A-Cola, Hershey’s, Tostito’s, ABC and ESPN just to name a few as well as landing opening titles and tie-ins for movies such as “Shrek” “Mystery Men”, “Rat Race” and many, many more.
  • Sarah Hult, of the Hult Family that owns and operates Flights Restaurant in Los Gatos and Flights Restaurant in Campbell. She is also a former Miss Nevada USA and Miss California Teen United States. Her involvement in pageantry led her to start the Miss Los Gatos pageant, which is a preliminary competition that leads to Miss California USA and Miss California Teen USA. The Miss Los Gatos pageant will actually hold its 5th annual competition in the JCC’s auditorium on July 28 this summer! Sarah is a mom to her 1-year-old daughter and of Alex Hult.
  • Deegan Mack Adams began his music career working at Oakland’s famed Studio 880 supporting artists such as Green Day, The Fray and Smash Mouth. Shortly thereafter he was hired as an Assistant Engineer to Grammy Nominated Engineer & Producer Michael Denten at Infinite Studios in Alameda, CA, cutting his teeth on The Bay Area’s infamous “hyphy” movement recording and mixing Artists like E-40, Snoop Dogg, Too Short, Chamillionaire, Mistah Fab, and many other local and national artists. Today he runs Sound Management Studios & Smash Mouth’s Home Studio. He continues to produce major label Artists as well as fostering up and coming talent from the Bay Area and beyond.

Congratulations to our 2018 Winners!

  • 1st place: Victoria McDowell, Los Gatos High School
  • 2nd place: Samantha Bell, Piedmont Hills High School
  • 3rd place: Alexandra Suarez, Silver Creek High School
  • All the contestants put on amazing performances! Congratulations to all.

Our TOP 10 finalists for 2018 were:
Alexandra Suarez – Silver Creek High School
Ann Schenkman – American High School
Christina Hingle – Fisher Middle School
Hazel Gerson – Fisher Middle School
Julia Owens – Pinewood High School
Kaylyn Freitas – Christopher High School
Madelyn Camara – Silver Creek High School
Nicole Delgadillo – Scotts Valley High School
Samantha Bell – Piedmont Hills High School
Victoria McDowell – Los Gatos High School

2017 Winners
1st place – Sophie Huang
2nd place – Lyla Rose Neely
3rd place – Kristen Champlin

2016 Winners
1st place – Emma Gerson
2nd place – Devon Schreiner
3rd place – Caity Redfern

2015 Winners
1st place – Julia Rogers
2nd place – Kiana Naderi
3rd place – Sanjana Sanghani

2014 Winners
1st Place – Danika Lam, Pioneer High School
2nd Place – Michael Mulea, Sylvandale Junior High School
3rd Place – Alice Tsvinev, Monta Vista High School

2013 Winners
1st Place – Brandon Farmer, Accelerated Christian Academy
2nd Place – Katie Brown, Los Gatos High School
3rd Place – Kayla Kane, Presentation High School

2012 Winners
1st place – Casey Rico
2nd place – Sanjana Shukla
3rd place – Dana Cullinane


Alec Ferris was the guest performer at the 2018 South Bay Teen Idol Finals. Alec,  a singer/songwriter and producer born and raised in the Napa Valley, entertained the audience at the Finals while votes were being counted. Alec is known for blending light melodies with heavy electronic production. Performing for years around the Bay Area, including Bottlerock Music Festival, he has built a heavy local fanbase. In Late 2016, Alec Ferris released his first EP “NewLifeOldFriends” with his second EP following shortly after in 2017, titled “Life in Pastel”. Both EP’s were released under the moniker “Alec Lee”. As 2017 came to a close, Alec decided a name change was needed to encompass a new sound. With the announcement of his name change to “Alec Ferris” he released his first single of the year, “Real Love”, on January 26th, 2018.

You may choose to audition LIVE or via VIDEO. You only audition once.
  • LIVE AUDITIONS will be held Sunday, January 20, 2019 from 10:00am-2:00pm at the JCC.
    Please make sure to have all necessary forms filled out prior to your audition. You will turn them in during registration.
  • VIDEO AUDITIONS will be held January 14 -18, 2019 from 3:00-7:00pm each evening. All Video Auditions are held at the JCC and are recorded by JCC staff.  The Video Auditions are for those who cannot make the Live Auditions on Sunday, January 20, 2019.
    You must sign up for video auditions in advance. Sign up online at

Please make sure to have all necessary forms filled out prior to your audition. You will turn them in during registration.

For more information, contact Diana Schnabel-Arevalo at [email protected] or 408.357.7402.

What to bring to the 2019 audition:
  • Your Application
  • A signed Performance Release
  • A completed, signed Conflict Calendar
  • Valid identification (driver’s license, student ID)
  • 8×10 color headshot in print and digital format. Please also email your picture as a high resolution JPG file to [email protected].
  • Printout of your most recent semester or quarter grades. All candidates must have a minimum 2.0 GPA.
  • $20 entry fee (cash only)
What to sing at the 2019 audition:

You will sing one song a cappella (no music) for no more than 1 minute. If you make the semifinals, you will be able to provide a music track background CD (no vocals). Rules and procedures are subject to change, at the Producer’s discretion.


If you are interested in volunteering to help at the SOUTH BAY TEEN IDOL Auditions, please contact [email protected].


Contest Rules 2018 (rules for 2019 will be announced soon)

I. Eligibility

8th-12 grade students residing in Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, San Mateo County, or Alameda County with a valid identification card (eg. student ID, valid driver’s license), are age 13 years or older, and have a minimum 2.0 GPA are eligible to compete.

Students must not have any type of talent representation (e.g., a talent agency or manager), recording contract, or merchandising agreement, or any other contractual arrangement that would prohibit entering into a management contract, recording contract or merchandising contract. All auditioners must be available to compete at the SOUTH BAY TEEN IDOL Semi-Finals on February 9, 2019 and at the SOUTH BAY TEEN IDOL Finals on March 30, 2019. Approximately 10-12 other rehearsals to be scheduled. All students are required to bring a Conflict Calendar as requested. Conflicts may cause students to become ineligible to continue with the competition. Performance dates are subject to change at Producer’s discretion.

Prize winners from previous South Bay Teen Idol Competitions are not eligible to compete. The immediate family of the Idol Team, including Idol staff, volunteers, judges, production and any other paid or unpaid persons are not eligible to compete.

II. Paperwork

You and a parent/guardian (needed if you are under 18) must complete and sign our required Performance Release outlining terms and conditions, and the Application. Family or friends who accompany you should be prepared to sign releases concerning possible taping and/or recording of their names, likenesses, conversation, etc.

III. Disqualification

We reserve the right to disqualify and/or exclude, in our sole and absolute discretion, any individual from any of the auditions for any reason or no reason at all including without limitation, violation of any portion of these rules, or tampering with the entry or audition process. Rules and procedures are subject to change, at the producer’s discretion.

IV. General conditions

By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these rules and the decisions of the producer, the voting audience, and the panel of judges, which shall be final. Your presence at the auditions, and the presence of your friends, family members, and anyone else accompanying you, constitutes your and their consent and agreement to the recording and use of your and their performance, appearance, name, voice, singing, likeness and any musical or sound effects produced by you and/or them for use in connection with any TV program, movie, or internet presentation for all purposes (including advertising, marketing, promotion, merchandising and the exploitation of any and all ancillary and subsidiary rights). These may be edited, in all media, in perpetuity for no compensation, unless otherwise required by law. If you and/or your friends, family members, or anyone else accompanying you to the audition or performance do not wish to be photographed, PLEASE DO NOT AUDITION AND STAY OUT OF CAMERA RANGE. You and/or their failure to do so will be deemed to be a waiver of any and all claims for invasion of privacy, defamation, appropriation, performance fees, etc. All federal, state, and local laws apply. Dates and locations subject to change. SOUTH BAY TEEN IDOL and the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center of Silicon Valley and the production personnel for the program, participating media, ad agencies, or any person or entity connected with the production, administration, or judging of the auditions or the program, or any of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, agents, or representatives are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any failure of transportation, bad directions, or inability for any reason to appear at an audition or performance or appearance before the judges; (ii) any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind caused by traveling to or from the audition venues, being present at the audition venues, participating in the audition process or being selected for or disqualified from the process and/or the show; or (iii) any printing, NO WEAPONS, ALCOHOL, OR NON-PRESCRIPTION DRUGS WILL BE PERMITTED AT ANY AUDITION. GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP IS EXPECTED AT ALL TIMES.

Please note that all procedures are subject to change.

For more information, contact Diana Schnabel-Arevalo, the JCC’s Director of Operations & South Bay Teen Idol Producer, at [email protected] or 408.357.7402.

Got questions?

Please ask. Diana is here to help!
Contact: Diana Schnabel-Arevalo, JCC Director of Operations and South Bay Teen Idol Producer
[email protected]

News & Media

Contact: Jenny Green, JCC Director of Marketing
[email protected]

News Articles about South Bay Teen Idol

Nicole Delgadillo competes in Teen Idol contest,” Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 22, 2018.

South Bay Teen Idol Auditions are Sunday in Los Gatos,” San Jose Mercury News, January 18, 2018.

Around Town Briefs: Teen Idol Returns…“, Silicon Valley Commmunity Newspapers, December 28, 2017.

‘Night of Stars’ benefit doubles as sweet 16 birthday partySan Jose Mercury News, October 26, 2017. Story about past South Bay Teen Idol competitors organizing a charity benefit at the JCC.

Benefit: Talented Teens to Perform for Let Girls Learn Initiative, San Jose Mercury News, October 23, 2017. Story about past South Bay Teen Idol competitors organizing a charity benefit at the JCC.

Story about South Bay Teen Idol finals on radio station Mix 106.5, with DJ Marla Davies, April 5, 2017. Includes highlights from the show, including the winning song.

Gilroy Teen Makes It To Finals of Singing Competition, Gilroy Dispatch, March 9, 2017.

South Bay Teen Idol Competition Announces 20 Semi-Finalists, Los Gatos Patch, February 16, 2017.

Teen Idol Semi-Finalists Include Los Gatos, Saratoga Students, Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, February 3, 2017.

South Bay Teen Idol Hopefuls Audition Next Week, San Jose Mercury News, January 13, 2017.

Emma Gerson’s rendition of ‘Dr. Feelgood’ helped her win the South Bay Teen Idol competition, Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, April 6, 2016.

South Bay to Crown New Teen Idol Singing Sensation at April 2 Finals, Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, March 30, 2016.

Teen Idol Finals Are Coming Up, Los Gatos Weekly Times, March 18, 2016.

Popular Teen Idol Competition Is Back, Los Gatos Weekly Times and Saratoga News, January 29, 2016.

20 Local Teens Chosen for South Bay Teen Idol Semi-Finals, Los Gatos Patch, January 22, 2016.

MH teen advances in South Bay Teen Idol 2016, The Morgan Hill Times, January 15, 2016.

Young Singers Compete for the Title of South Bay Teen Idol, Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, May 1, 2015.

Story about South Bay Teen Idol finals on radio station Mix 106.5, with DJ Marla Davies, April 27, 2015.

“Teen Singers Are Polishing Their Acts.” San Jose Mercury News, April 22, 2015.

“Los Gatos: Four Local Girls Are Teen Idol Finalists.” Los Gatos Weekly Times, March 11, 2015.

“Talented teens are singing their way to the top.” Los Gatos Weekly Times and Saratoga News, February 18, 2015.

“Pioneer’s Danika Lam wins the top prize in South Bay Teen Idol contest in Los Gatos.” San Jose Mercury News, March 24 and March 27, 2014.

“Search is on for South Bay’s top teen singer.” Los Gatos Weekly Times, March 12, 2014.

“Saratoga Shorts: South Bay Teen Idols.” Saratoga News, February 5, 2014.

“Los Gatos: Teen Idol Contest Auditions Underway.” San Jose Mercury News, January 8, 2014.

“Singing ‘Glee-fully.'” Cover story, Los Gatos Weekly Times, April 23, 2013.

“Search to begin for next South Bay Teen Idol.” Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, December 11, 2012.

“Singers Compete for the South Bay Teen Idol Crown.” Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, April 6, 2012.

“Idol Chatter: THIS is South Bay Teen Idol!” Cover story, Campbell Reporter, April 6, 2012.

“Idol Chatter: THIS is South Bay Teen Idol!” Cover story, Saratoga News, April 3, 2012.

Thank you to our 2019 sponsors.