It may not be American Idol but a Utah State University graduate student has reached the finals of a national singing contest sponsored by the Univision Network. “Viva el Sueno” – Univision’s version of American Idol – is on the air now and one of the program’s features is an online singing contest open to viewers. “I need some money to pay for student loans,” said Ernesto Lopez, “so, just for fun, I submitted a video tape of me singing. I sent it in and thinking nothing of it, Tuesday of this week they contacted me saying I was a potential finalist. Wednesday another call confirmed to me that I am a finalist.” Lopez said friends have been calling him since Sunday saying that a portion of the video he submitted has been included in a commercial promoting the weekly program. He said online voting begins Sunday (Oct. 25) and continues for three weeks. “It’s at the website Univision.com,” he said, “and if you type ‘coca cola’ on the top search box it takes you directly to the voting page. You are able to vote once a day for three weeks and every time you vote you are entered into a drawing for $2,000. “I am assuming they will go ahead and post the videos of the five finalists on-line,” he said. As a youngster Lopez started his singing in a church choir and his parents sang as a duet in church settings. “I started playing when I was 12 and now I am 28 and I still play, mostly with the worship team at church (Church of God Ebenezer) in Hyrum and I really have a passion for music.” Lopez is involved in USU’s master’s program in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences. “I’m really enjoying learning about theories for learning and, who knows, I may apply to a doctorate program, later on.” He is a native of Tijuana, Mexico and lived there until he was 15 when he moved to Buhl, Idaho.
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