January 28, 2006 11:03 AM by Joe Blackmon
In the Greensboro, North Carolina auditions, Kellie Pickler emerged as one of the most likable contestants in the competition. In fact, she could be classified as an early favorite, as she is one of the few contestants that already appears to be developing a strong online fan following.
Kellie Pickler definitely has a lot going for her. She is attractive, has a great singing voice, and an amazing background story. Having a good background story at this early stage in the American Idol competition is a huge advantage, because it makes the contestant more memorable to both the judges and the viewers.
Kellie Pickler is a 19 year old female from Albemarle, North Carolina. Kellie works as a roller skating waitress at a Sonic Drive-in and lives with her grandfather. Kellie’s mother left her when she was two years old, and her father has been in and out of prison pretty much her whole life. An article in The Meadville Tribune reveals that Kellie’s grandparents Clyde and Faye Pickler took care of her after her mother left. Kellie’s grandmother Faye passed away two and half years ago.
Kellie Pickler sang Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and Martina McBride’s “Broken Wing” for her American Idol 5 audition. Even though Simon Cowell expressed concern that Kellie was oversinging the songs, he also thought she was terrific and really liked her. All three judges voted Kellie through to the next round, causing Kellie to break down in tears of happiness. After Kellie had left the room, Simon Cowell even remarked “that’s a nice girl..that’s someone that I would like to see do well.”
Kellie Pickler actually has more experience in singing in public than most would probably gather from her American Idol background clip. Kellie competed in 2005 in a North Carolina signing competition called “Gimme The Mike! Charlotte.” Kellie made it to the finals of the competition, but she did not win. According to The Meadville Tribune, Kellie also won the Miss Stanly County Pageant in 2004 and competed in the Miss North Carolina Pageant, where she was the youngest contestant. Kellie also sang the national anthem at a Wal-mart grand opening.
With everything that Kellie has going for here, it would seem like that she would be a shoe-in to make it far in American Idol 5. The only thing that could potentially derail Ms. Pickler is comparisons to last year’s American Idol winner Carrie Underwood. The comparisons could both help and hinder Kellie. Many of Carrie’s fans from last year could support Kellie as their contestant of choice, while other fans might avoid voting for Kellie because they don’t want to see a similar contestant win again this year.