Lake High School senior Amelia Finefrock has made it to Hollywood.
The 17-year-old North Canton resident survived the first round of auditions for American Idol and is slated to sing in front of thousands of TV viewers when the show begins airing Feb. 9.
Finefrock took some time to talk with us this week about her audition experience and her expectations for the show.
North Canton Patch: What’s your most memorable off-camera moment?
Amelia Finefrock: Some of the best moments were ones I had before the audition. I met a really nice guy from New York. He was auditioning and he rode six or eight hours just to audition in Pittsburgh. It was just really cool getting to meet him. He’s an actor and we’re both firm believers in God, and it was cool to see a good person doing so well in the entertainment business. The best part of auditioning was just meeting some of these people.
North Canton Patch: What surprised you most about the audition process?
Finefrock: It was pretty hectic. It was crazy. I was really impressed they were very organized and very kind about it. No one was pushy. It was really crazy, but they all knew what they were doing.
North Canton Patch: What song did you sing for your audition in Pittsburgh?
Finefrock: When I sang for the judges, it was Syrup and Honey by Duffy, and Steven Tyler asked me to sing a second song so I sang Jackson Five’s I Want You Back. I picked the first song because my family and I are avid Duffy fans, and I like her style of singing. I consider myself an idie, soul-type of singer. I think I sang it pretty well. I decided to pick a ballad and then something more up-tempo (the second song). They gave me some criticism for picking that song, but it was constructive and I am grateful for it now.
North Canton Patch: What do you hope you’ll gain from this experience?
Finefrock: Wow. Already I feel like I’ve learned so much talking to other people. It’s cool to hear their stories too. I just learned you need to be yourself. This isn’t something in which you can get by with hiding behind a mask or pretending to be something that you’re not. They want to see you. It can be difficult because you have to open up and answer personal questions, but they want America to see you and fall in love with you. Whether that happens for me … You have to learn a lot and perform even if you don’t feel like performing. Anyone who wants to go into any type of performing career, I think they should try something like this.
North Canton Patch: Were you a big fan of American Idol before this?
Finefrock: Me and my family have always been avid Idol watchers. I think I started watching when Carrie Underwood was on. My family has always told me I should audition. I actually decided this year on a whim. I was at the Cleveland Playhouse working with the Jersey Boys Broadway Tour, and I missed a day of that summer camp to audition for American Idol. It’s always been a dream of mine and I was ecstatic I got the golden ticket.
I am so overly excited and so grateful for all the people who’ve invested their time and energy into believing in me. I am overwhelmed by so much support, not only from my friends and family, but from my teachers and my mentors. Especially Helen Welsh, my vocal coach who pushed me to do better than I thought I could do, and Michael Gatto, director at Kent State University. I’m so grateful regardless of what happens. It’s been an adventure and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.