Friday, Sept. 8 marked West Virginia University’s first "Mountaineer Idol" showcase event. The event took over the Mountainlair food court for a night song and celebration.

The 15 contestants took the stage to perform "a song from their idol", accompanied by free food, guest appearances by the WVU cheerleaders and a variety of giveaways. No eliminations were made this round so contestants took full advantage of their time to show off to attendees.

"I’ll be performing ‘Titanium’ by David Guetta," Katie Simms, freshman criminology major from Summersville, West Virginia, said before the showcase. "I chose the song because of the empowerment aspect of the song."

Katie’s song choice reflects, not only her love for David Guetta’s music, but her desire to empower others with her voice. Her strong vocals and stage presence allowed her to embodied Guetta’s message of motivation and perseverance.

Another standout freshman performance was Rowan Sessa, a nursing student from Hershey, Pennsylvania. Her performance of "Sweater Weather" by the Neighborhood allowed for her to showcase her unique music taste and goal to expose the audience to a different style of music.

"This song is so different from other mainstream music," Sessa said. "It’s a down-to-earth type song. It breaks from the typical music constantly profiled by the media today."

The showcase also gave contestants to scout out the competition. Contestants agreed there is a large pool of talent this year, with Erik Benade being repeatedly reported as the man to beat.

"My goal tonight is to woo the female audience and charm the judges," Benade, a senior strategic business major from South Africa, said before he took the stage.

Benade’s performance of "Save Room" by John Legend received outstanding reactions, proving his place in the competition.

Mountaineer Idol will continue through Oct. 29, with remaining rounds taking place in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.

The next performance will be Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. where contestants must perform a rock song of their choice. 15 contestants will take the stage, but only 11 will remain after eliminations.

Each round of Mountaineer Idol is free and open to the public. For more information about the event and updates on eliminations check out their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WVUMountaineerIdol/.