June 26, 2016

Partly sunny

Medina’s Shelby Searcy gets ticket to appear on ‘American Idol’

Click here to watch “American Idol” interview Shelby Searcy

MEDINA — A Medina Bee has the chance to become a superstar.

Shelby Searcy, a senior at Medina High School, is headed to Hollywood for the hit reality show “American Idol” in the hope of winning the nationwide singing contest.

Shelby Searcy

The winner of “American Idol” is chosen by viewers, who vote by telephone, Internet and text message. The champion receives a record deal with a major label, and the Top 10 finishers secure a touring contract.

To make it this far, Searcy had to advance through three stages of competition in July in Chicago.

In the final cut, she won a golden ticket from the four judges: music producer Randy Jackson, R&B singer Mariah Carey, hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj and country-western singer Keith Urban.

The ticket reserves her space in the next stage of the contest, which will determine the Top 24 to 36 emerging stars in the country.

Searcy had to keep her ticket to Hollywood a secret until the winners were announced on television last week.

If Searcy makes it past the Hollywood stage and the following Las Vegas stage, she’ll be a semifinalist. At that point, her fate will be in the hands of viewers.

The show keeps its contestants from talking with the media under later stages, but Searcy can be seen in an interview with “American Idol” on YouTube.

In the interview, Searcy tells the show how excited she was to receive a golden ticket.

“I couldn’t even believe it,” she said. “I was speechless.”

She said one of her favorite moments while singing was when she was in the fifth grade. A woman heard her sing “Walking on Sunshine” and said the song gave her goosebumps and made her cry.

Searcy described her singing voice as “smooth,” “jazzy” and “soft.”

She said she is confident she could win the big prize.

“I think I’m the next ‘American Idol’ because I have a good voice, a good personality and I think I can get the votes,” Searcy said. “I have so much support, and I really just want to inspire everybody, and I think if I get voted for, I can do that.”

“American Idol” returns 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday on WJW-Fox 8.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.