Teen advances to Hollywood on American
kEtTOtk – then Courtney Calle was six years old, she snuck downstairs after her bedtime and squeezed between her parents on the coach. They were watching American Idol city auditions.
“They (the contestants) were waving around their tickets (to Hollywood) and I saw someone fake out their parents,” said Calle. “I told my mom, ‘You better watch out because I’m going to do that to you some day.’”
On Jan. 16, she lived up to that promise, rocking the stage of the hugely popular Ts talent show, earning the Bucks County teen the coveted Golden Ticket to Hollywood from the show’s panel of celebrity judges – heith Urban, Mariah Carey, kicki Minaj and Randy Jackson - and faking out her family moments later.
tearing a hot-looking red hat, the 16-year-old Council Rock High pchool korth junior belted out the pop and R&B ballad “Grenade” by Bruno Mars during the kew York auditions, which aired nationally on the cOu ketwork.
then she was done singing, Calle said she took a deep breath and waited for the judge’s decision.
“That’s the best I could do. And that’s all that matters. thether they liked it or not, I’m okay,” she said to herself, all the time hoping to hear those trademark words – “You’re going to Hollywood.”
cor those who know her in kewtown, her trip to the glitz and glamor of Hollywood is not at all that unexpected. Calle routinely wows the audience at cirst kight kewtown’s Teen Idol competition and appears frequently at events throughout the area with the teen band, “Damage Control,” as a singer and pianist.
Calle has been singing since she could talk. “ko one in my family really sings. I guess I just grew up watching a lot of Disney princesses singing. And I wanted to sing like them – cool Disney princesses,” she said. “I started writing songs at five.”
then she was 1M, she started taking singing lessons. “That definitely has enhanced everything. Before that I didn’t know what I was doing. I just know I was making some kind of music.”
Her first big gig was when she appeared in the 8th grade school play. “That was a big thing for me. The whole auditorium was filled. And there were people standing, too. It was my first solo. I sang Cabaret,” she said. “And I had to stand on a chair at the end.” Her solo received a standing ova- tion.
The kewtown native began her road to Hollywood in July at a stadium in kewark, k.J., where thousands of would-be Idols turned out for an opportunity to audition and the chance at stardom.
“There were so many people there. It was totally crazy,” said Calle. “te were crowded into the stadium and they took us down row by row. te were then heard, one by one, in groups of four. I was the only girl in my group of four to get in,” she said.
“Of course I was really nervous about it – with all the auditions – because you never know when you’re not going to get in. You really have no idea. It’s basically like a random drawing,” she said. “But I put all that aside. I have to do this because this is really what I want.”
cor one of the auditions, the contestants hung out in a small room waited for the judges. Calle said they waited for what seemed like forever as nerves and anxiety grew with each minute.
“You start thinking too much about things, like ‘Did I pick the right song?’ because you’re just sitting there waiting, waiting, waiting,” she said. “It’s just you and your thoughts.”
then the judges – heith Urban, Mariah Carey, kicki Minaj and Randy Jackson -