Teen ad­vances to Hol­ly­wood on Amer­i­can

The Advance of Bucks County - - FRONT PAGE - By Jeff Werner

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 -

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