By Linda Pollock/What’s on Tap Editor

Students will have the opportunity to be a superstar without the scrutiny of Simon’s harsh criticism. Eastern will host its own version of the show “American Idol” at 7 p.m. April 1 in the Student Services Building. “It will be just like “American Idol” for the most part, but this competition includes all talents, whereas “American Idol” is just singing,” Melissa Smith, vice chair of Residence Life Council said.

The council is sponsoring the free event to “provide an on campus activity for students and to encourage them to get involved in a showcase of their talent,” Smith said.

RLC has been planning this event for nearly one month and expect over 100 students to attend. They hope the event will become a tradition if they get a good turnout.

There were approximately 25 students who performed in the preliminaries April 1. The acts range from bands to poetry readings.

Ten finalists will showcase their talent on Friday. The acts consist of tumbling, a hip-hop group and original songs among others.

“So often we have peers around us who have totally unique talents and yet we never get an opportunity to see them. I am looking forward to getting to enjoy all of the different types of talents we will see,” Smith said.

The judges, composed of residence hall coordinators and administrators from Student Development, will decide who proceeds to the finals tomorrow.

Eric Nieves, a Latino comedian will host the Eastern Idol finals. He is a Bronx native who has guest starred on “NYPD Blue” as well as BET’s “Comic View.”

According to his Web site, he has gained fans from across the country and makes appearances at several universities. He will be at Eastern for the final elimination

Today through Sunday is First Weekend and Eastern Idol is just one of the events scheduled. Go to www.firstweekend.com for a full listing.