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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘American Idol’ to feature UA alumna

    Music education alum Crystal Stark sings in her music room in her home Monday afternoon. Stark was given her ticket to Hollywood during the San Francisco auditions and will appear on tonights episode of American Idol on the Fox Network.
    Music education alum Crystal Stark sings in her ‘music room’ in her home Monday afternoon. Stark was given her ticket to Hollywood during the San Francisco auditions and will appear on tonight’s episode of ‘American Idol’ on the Fox Network.

    A UA alumna might sing her way into America’s hearts tonight by competing on the vocal talent contest “”American Idol.””

    Crystal Stark, a 2004 music education graduate, will face judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson at 7 p.m. on Fox Channel 11.

    “”I was more nervous than I thought I’d be,”” Stark said of the experience. “”They’re celebrities so you just want to go in and stare, but it’s like, ‘Oh no, now I have to start singing.'””

    Stark, 23, first auditioned for the highly popular show in Chicago over the

    summer. She sang “”I Have Nothing,”” by Whitney Houston, beat out several other contestants and made it to the next round in Hollywood, Calif.

    Stark said she’s not allowed to reveal the details about her experience in Hollywood before the show airs, but did say 175 contestants will remain out of the some 90,000 who made it to Hollywood.

    Stark, who’s been singing since she was 3 years old, said she’s not sure how much airtime she’ll get but plans to watch the show with a small gathering of family and friends.

    What will be televised tonight is an accumulation of four days of filming.

    By the time a contestant auditions for Paula, Simon and Randy, it’s the third round of auditions. Stark had to wait in a lobby for more than 10 hours before going into the room with them, she said.

    During her wait she made a few friends, although some of the contestants were a little strange, she said.

    “”I took pictures with those ones, because I knew they’d be the ones to make it on TV,”” she said.

    Stark estimated that 85 percent of the contestants are really trying to start a singing career while the others just want to be on TV.

    Stark said her family, especially her brother, convinced her to try out for the show.

    “”They told me to do it every year,”” she said. “”I finally agreed to try out if they had another season.””

    Stark sang at the UA commencement ceremony when she graduated in 2004 and also sang the national anthem at a Diamondbacks baseball game.

    She said her mother has always supported her, even convincing her to major in music.

    “”It’s the opposite of what usually happens,”” she said. “”I told her I was thinking about being a veterinarian and she really encouraged me to pursue music.””

    Stark said she’s been inspired by music her whole life, teaching herself to play piano at a young age.

    “”It’s always been a love of mine,”” she said.

    Chris Stark, Crystal’s husband, said it’s

    surreal to know that his wife of three years will soon be on a popular television show.

    “”It’s like watching a superstar and then having her come home to you,”” he said.

    Chris Stark, 31, described his wife’s voice as “”angelic”” and said that although he and her family supported her by paying for her plane tickets, Crystal Stark’s success at the auditions is something she did all on her own.

    The couple currently lives in Tucson, but Crystal Stark said that could soon change depending on where her music career takes her.

    Whether Crystal Stark makes it on “”American Idol”” or not, she plans to continue pursuing a singing career and is interested in performing Christian music.

    She currently belongs to 3rd Relation, a band performing funk, soul and R&B.

    Those interested in seeing the “”American Idol”” contestant before she possibly makes it big can watch the band perform this Friday and Saturday at the Westward Look Resort, 245 E. Ina Road, from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

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