2010 Oneonta Grad Among ‘Idol’ Hopefuls
SUNY Oneonta faculty, staff and alumni will be watching the premiere of “American Idol XIII” tomorrow, hoping to catch a glimpse of 2010 graduate Kari Crimmins getting a coveted golden ticket to Hollywood.
*** UPDATE 2/19/14: Crimmins made it to the top 150 but was cut after the first Hollywood Week round. To the disappointment of many in the SUNY Oneonta community, her auditions never aired on the show. Though her American Idol journey is over, she said the experience has reaffirmed her commitment to making it as a singer. “Just standing on the Dolby theatre stage and hearing my voice echo around its expanse was breathtaking,” she wrote, in a message to fans on her Facebook page. “My time at Idol lit a fire in me and though my journey there has come to a close, other doors are opening that I never imagined. This isn’t the last you will hear of me– it is only the beginning.” ***
Crimmins auditioned in Boston over the summer and was featured on an “American Idol” TV promo this week. The two-night season premiere begins at 8 p.m. Wednesday on FOX and will feature the first round of clips from Season 13 auditions held in several cities for judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. “Boston was the first city and the first time the new panel of judges got together, so I’m fairly certain you may see Boston if you tune in Wednesday,” Crimmins said Tuesday.
Contestants are bound by confidentiality restrictions, so Crimmins can’t divulge much about the experience, other than to say she she’s been deluged with support from family, friends and fans who spotted her in the TV promo. “I’m overwhelmed and humbled by the amount of support and loving messages I’ve received just from being recognized in a two-second spot on a commercial! My fan page has more than doubled in a matter of a week.”
Crimmins first auditioned for “American Idol” back in 2009 with a group of friends from Oneonta who drove to Boston together. “I decided to go back this year after winning a ‘dream ticket’ at the American Idol Experience at Disney,” she said. “I competed in several rounds in front of a live audience and won by audience vote. It was very exciting!”
SUNY Oneonta voice instructor Colby Thomas, who had Crimmins as a student for four years, said she’ll be watching Wednesday’s “Idol” premiere. “Kari is one of the most talented singers we have had at the college, and I am thrilled that she is having this experience,” said Thomas, who directed Crimmins in “The Medium,” “Street Scene,” “Chess” and many opera and musical theatre showcases in the Music Department’s Performance Practice Workshop.
Crimmins graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 2010 with a degree in theatre and mass communications. She started singing at age 3 and performed before an audience for the first time at the age of 5, singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” in an elementary school talent show. She continued to sing and perform as a student at Whitesboro High School.
Though she loved singing and acting, Crimmins was also interested in journalism, and she came to SUNY Oneonta as a mass communications major, planning to pursue a career as a television news anchor. But, after auditioning for a Mask and Hammer production of “Twelfth Night” and landing the lead role, she added the theatre major and went on to work on a total of 15 shows in various capacities, including stagecraft, makeup, costumes and as a featured performer in 10 productions. She also sang the alma mater and national anthem at her graduation ceremony in May 2010.
“My college performance experience is so incredibly valuable to me,” she said. “It gave me the opportunity to build a resume and gain experience in front of a live audience over and over again. I was singing every single day. I had the opportunity to work one-on-one with amazing, talented professors who are actors and musicians themselves. It’s safe to say I lived in the fine arts building.”
While at SUNY Oneonta, Crimmins was twice selected as the recipient of the Laurie Beechman Musical Theatre Scholarship, and she received the 2010 Robert Preston Excellence in Musical Theatre award.
“I’m very pleased for Kari,” said Associate Professor of Theatre Andrew Kahl, who worked with Crimmins on numerous theater productions and has followed her progress since she left SUNY Oneonta. “I know she has been eager to compete on ‘American Idol’ ever since she was a student here. She has remarkable talent and charisma, and I am eager to see how she does.”