Mania for Majesty
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 6, 2014 1:46 PM
Daleishia Hutcherson, 19, and ShaParis Singleton, 20, cheer for Majesty Rose during the "American Idol" viewing party at Wayne Community College Wednesday night.
Sharice, 10, Shonise and Cameron, 8, Jacobs decorate posters to wave during the viewing party.
Tim, Gail and Andrew Cipiti and Bryanna Montijo, 14, use their cell phones to vote for Majesty Rose.
Majesty Mania kicked off at Wayne Community College Wednesday night, as friends, relatives, classmates and fans turned out to watch the local contestant perform on "American Idol."
The viewing party was set up in Moffatt Auditorium. Prior to the telecast, though, a pep rally of sorts took place in the atrium.
A large poster greeted guests with the message, "Majesty Rose -- Student to Superstar," referencing her former status with the college.
At a table by the auditorium entrance, Joy Kornegay, chief financial officer at the college, handed out a choice of fans, adorned with Majesty's face, the "American Idol" logo or a large rose, symbolic of the singer's penchant for wearing a flower in her hair.
Nearby was a "creation station" for making posters and an opportunity for taking "selfies" with a life-sized cardboard version of the contestant and her guitar.
"I left right from work and came over," said Deanna Grady, who said she has known Majesty for several years as a vocalist at her church, The Bridge.
"I sat on the front row and took a lot of pictures of her," she said.
Asia Thomas, an ambassador with the Student Government Association, said the frenzy created by the show has been felt at the college.
"Oh, my gosh, you have no idea," she said. "It has such a big impact on the campus. The students, we're going to get to take this moment and support someone that's great. I'm excited. I have been excited for a while."
Emily Lassiter, an employee in student services, remembered Majesty's days as a student at the college.
"It's been exciting with the planning and getting everything ready," she said of the kick-off event.
Ms. Lassiter brought six people with her, including daughter, Cassandra, 13.
"I like the reason she sings. She's different," Cassandra said.
"She's a sweet girl, always had a smile on her face," Ms. Lassiter recalled. "And we're happy for her here at Wayne. That's been a big deal."
Beth Stovall, Miss Goldsboro 2013, turned out to support the hometown favorite. She and Majesty had gone to different high schools, she said -- Rosewood and Eastern Wayne, respectively -- but became acquainted during an all-county choral event.
"We had auditions for the solo part. My friend, Majesty and I tied for first place, so we all sang together," she said. "I remember her being exceptionally sweet."
Miss Stovall said she has faithfully watched Season 13 of "American Idol" and cheered for her friend.
"I know she's going to go far," she said. "She's very passionate. The judges love her."
Even little fans can be big fans. P.J. Grant, 12, is Majesty's brother.
"She's my sister, too," chimed in Jonathan Chapel, 9, whose family Majesty has been living with for the past two years.
"I think she's definitely gonna make it all the way," P.J. said.
"I think the same," Jonathan said.
Paige Ham, student activities director at the college, got to know Majesty as part of the Student Government Association and said she was not surprised by her recent success.
"When she was an officer she would just pull the group together. She'd play on the guitar. It was just great," she said. "Bringing the Majesty Mania here on campus, getting the students involved, student engagement, it's been great.
"She does have a lot of support. The campus is behind her. We're excited. We're rooting for her the whole way."
The local turnout was especially fitting, since the theme for the Wednesday's show was "home," with contestants choosing a song that represented what home meant to them.
Each time the camera Majesty's face showed up on screen, cheers went up from the audience.
They patiently awaited her performance, even when it meant their favorite was the last one to sing on the two-hour show.
"I'm from a little town in North Carolina called Goldsboro," said Majesty during her segment. "Something I'm really missing about home is my preschool kids and I know they miss me a lot, too."
The brief introduction featured a clip taken on Berkeley Boulevard and her students at the Family YMCA holding up a large poster and sending their support.
She chose to sing "Fix You" by Coldplay.
"It was a song that I learned to do when I was younger, in my teenage years," she said. "This song was really a hopeful song. That's what I like about it."
The judges, once again, praised her vocal ability as well as confidence on stage. They didn't rave about the performance, but judge Keith Urban left her with one assurance -- "We're going to see you next week."
Tune in tonight to learn Majesty's fate. The results show airs from 8-9 p.m. on Fox TV. A viewing party is being held at the Family YMCA from 7:30-9 p.m. The public is invited.