Dallastown grad Lindsey Erin auditioned July 15 in Pittsburgh for season 11 of  American Idol.
Dallastown grad Lindsey Erin auditioned July 15 in Pittsburgh for season 11 of American Idol. (SUBMITTED )

Band: Lindsey Erin, 18

How did you get interested in music? I've been performing on stage . . . since I was 9 years old. When I was 9, I started dancing. I did basically every kind of dance - tap, ballet, Irish. What I did was just explore options of what . . . I would do when I was older. I started getting into singing. I was in chorus when I was little, and I decided to try it again and see if it would work out for me.

Did you take singing lessons? In school, I was in chorus, voice and musical theater. I started taking private voice lessons with (local performer) Amanda Perko (three years ago). Then, I got information that Steve Whiteman, the lead singer of Kix, was in Harrisburg teaching voice lessons. So, I contacted him, and I've been taking lessons from him for about six months now.

Who are your influences? I'm a country-pop artist kind of like a Carrie Underwood. I really look up to Taylor Swift. I think she's a really great person. Her song lyrics (are ones) that I really relate to. She's really dedicated to her fans. She inspires me. I really would like to see myself as someone . . . people can look up to.

Are you working on your own music? I have been trying. Back in November, I made a demo CD of cover songs from different artists (at) Interstellar Studios (in Winterstown). I researched what record labels accept unsolicited material, and I mailed CDs . . . and press kits out to them. I got contacted by three out-of-state record labels to produce a CD. I decided to weigh out my options, and I put an ad on Craigslist. That's when I (met York artist and producer) Jerry (Duncan). He told me he already had 20 songs for me to listen to. I just decided for right now, I would get some songs out there to get noticed. Once I start getting myself out there, I'm going to start writing.

Are you looking to perform anywhere in the area? Last year, I auditioned for "American Idol" (in East Rutherford, N.J.) I auditioned a couple months ago for "X Factor," Simon Cowell's show. My problem with those shows is (that) they basically judge you on your looks. I don't think those shows are for talent, but that's just my opinion. I really like the show "The Voice" because they can't judge you on your looks. I (did) try out for "American Idol" (July 15) in Pittsburgh. Once I get my album done (my manager Jerry) is going to contact fairs . . . and different clubs so I can just get out there and see what happens.

Did you take anything away from your first "Idol" audition that might help you in the future? What I'm going to do is really sing a lot, lot louder and wear something so (I) stand out. If you just look casual, you basically won't get noticed. I'm going to wear something that's going to make me . . . stand out from everything else. Not something crazy like some people (wear).

What is the most challenging thing you face? Before (I) get on stage, (I) get really nervous. But once I'm up there, I feel fine. (It's hard to worry) if people like you (and) if you look good. It's kind of intimidating.

Where do you hope to be in a year from now? I hope I'm going to be, you know, touring around different states . . . close to here (and) playing for fairs (and) conventions. Hopefully, I make it on "Idol." (My goal is to get) my music out there and start to get a lot of fans to follow me. Eventually, I really want to make it into Fanfare in Nashville. It's a bunch of . . . top artists and local artists (who meet fans). Hopefully, I get noticed enough to be entered into that. That would be a great experience for me.

Do you think you'll eventually move to Nashville? I would love to live in Nashville. That is my ultimate dream. A lot of country stars come out of Nashville, so I would be honored to live there and experience that.

Do you have other hobbies? Singing is my only hobby. I do play guitar as well. I'm going to learn Jerry's songs . . . on the guitar. (My album) should be done in about two months. Once I get that, I'm going to upload those songs onto YouTube and start my Facebook (page) so I can get fans. I actually found eight (of Jerry's original songs) that I'm going to have on my album. There was one song that really, really stood out to me. It's called "Just As I Am." It just talks about, you know, accepting yourself as you are. I think a lot of people could relate to that. A lot of people aren't confident in themselves (and) there's a lot of bullying out there.

- Erin McCracken, FlipSide staff

Lindsey Erin checks in after 'Idol' audition

"There were 10,000 people there," Erin, 18, said. "It was hot, too."

Erin lined up at 5:30 a.m. July 15 to try out for season 11 of "American Idol" at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. She didn't get a chance to sing the Carrie Underwood song she prepared until 7 p.m.

She didn't make it past the first round, but was told by producers that she had a strong voice.

"I was just taking a chance," she said. "You can't lose anything."

Since the audition, Erin has recorded a couple of songs for an album she's working on.

"Each time (in the studio), you learn what to do and how far to stand from the mike and how to project yourself," she said.

Erin also entered WGTY-FM's Great County Radio Stage Challenge for a chance to sing at the York Fair.

Listeners will decide who wins. Ten finalists were announced Aug. 8, and their songs were played on air.

The overall winner will be announced Monday.

For details, visit www.wgty.com/contests/radiostagechallenge.shtml.