Corvallis High School student Alexandrea Adair has always had a good singing voice, but it wasn’t until she bought the $20 American Idol Audition Kit at Target that she was on her way to becoming a star. Adair, 17, who manages the McDonald’s in Hamilton, bought the kit this fall after a classmate who also had Idol aspirations told her about it. Inside the kit: a computer program and microphone to hook up to your computer. Using the program, you choose songs from a list on the American Idol website, then record the song on your computer and upload your performance to the Idol website for the world to hear—and vote on. Each month, one competitor is voted to move on to the finals and appear in the fifth season of “American Idol” in 2006. (The fourth season begins Jan. 18.)
After recording a few practice songs in November, Adair uploaded two tunes for December’s competition: Christina Aguilera’s “I Turn to You” and Faith Hill’s “There You’ll Be.” Then her parents called family and friends all over the U.S. to beg votes for their daughter. That support, along with Adair’s talent, kept her among the top 10 competitors at the end of each Friday-night elimination round; if you’re not in the top 10, you don’t advance to the following week.
On New Year’s Eve Adair was in fourth place out of 1,440 December competitors; she needed to be number one to earn a spot on the show. Her ace in the hole? “My aunt was up all night, and she took her laptop out all around [Hamilton] and was signing people up to vote,” Adair says.
By the first day of 2005, Adair was in first place, earning her a 30-second audition in front of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson That audition will be filmed this August. In preparation, Adair has already started to practice Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter.” She’s not taking any private lessons, but does work with voice coach and choir teacher Nancy Brown at Corvallis High School. In school, she says, she’s sung “operatic stuff” in the past, but likes to sing “pop stuff” on her own.
Is she scared to face Simon?
“Not right now,” she says. “But I’m sure I will be.”