Mark Bateman (center), pictured after being announced 2023 Senior American Idol. Emcee Bill Brady (from left), judges Blake Alexander, Carol Tardi, Laura Alberts, Orland Township Supervisor Paul O'Grady, and Coordinator Marie Ryan. (Supplied photo)

Mark Bateman (center), pictured after being announced 2023 Senior American Idol. Emcee Bill Brady (from left), judges Blake Alexander, Carol Tardi, Laura Alberts, Orland Township Supervisor Paul O'Grady, and Coordinator Marie Ryan. (Supplied photo)

Orland Township announces 2023 Senior American Idol winner

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Twelve talented seniors showcased their vocal skills before a live audience last week as they competed for the title of 2023 Orland Township Senior American Idol.

The event, sponsored by Right at Home of Orland Park, took place on April 27 at Georgios Banquets in Orland Hills. Over 550 guests flocked into the dazzlingly decorated ballroom for dinner and a night of friendly competition between this year’s contestants.

After three rounds of singing their favorite tunes, Mark Bateman, took home the trophy and title of 2023 Orland Township Senior American Idol. As a former member of the church choir at St. Christopher Parish in Midlothian, he’s had a love for music and performing for almost his entire life.

After years of being a music lover and an avid viewer of “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice,” Bateman decided it was time to enter a competition himself. This year he graced the stage for the second time in a row with hopes of winning the title of Senior American Idol.

Mark started off the night with “My Way” a song made popular in 1969 by Frank Sinatra, continuing in the second round with “Keeper of the Stars” by Tracy Byrd. In the final round, Mark impressed the audience and judges with “Mac the Knife,” which ended up securing his first-place win.

Before the competition began, local student JJ Purpura, 6, started the night off with a rendition of the National Anthem.

Amongst the crowd was the celebrity judge panel, which included musician Blake Alexander and esteemed Fashion Director Carol Tardi, along with former Senior American Idol winner Laura Alberts, a dedicated theatre arts and music professional, who took home the trophy in 2016. Comedian, author, and Tinley Park Trustee Bill Brady served as emcee for the event.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to have so many talented seniors who are willing to come out, showcase their talents, and compete to benefit the Orland Township Scholarship Foundation,” said Supervisor Paul O’Grady. “Offering opportunities like this to our seniors is just one of the many ways we keep the members of our community involved. We’re incredibly glad to have also found a way to help benefit local youth in the process. I want to thank everyone who came out and supported their favorite singer, and of course, our Scholarship Foundation.”

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