‘Idol’ Aspirations

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, January 30, 2011

A small town girl revisited her old stomping grounds Saturdayafter getting an invitation to Hollywood during auditions for thisseason of “American Idol.”

Jacquelyn Dupree, of Summit, signed autographs and discussed hertelevision experiences with fans and visitors at her formerworkplace, Susan’s Shoppe in Brookhaven, on Saturday afternoon.

“It was really nerve-racking,” Dupree said of auditioning infront of “American Idol” judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez andRandy Jackson. “I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous in mylife.”

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However, before auditioning in front of the show’s judges in NewOrleans in October, Dupree went through three rounds of screeningsin July.

“It was definitely kind of tiring,” said Dupree. “At the sametime, it was pretty enjoyable to be a part of something thathuge.”

Dupree’s audition, which aired on television during the Jan. 20episode of the popular singing competition show, was a bigsuccess.

She received three yeses to advance to Hollywood and positivefeedback from the intimidating judges. Lopez commented on Dupree’sability to make transitioning during songs appear seamless.

“To hear something coming from people like that was really acompliment,” said Dupree, 24.

The yeses allowed the Summit singer to continue onto theHollywood phase of the contest, where additional cuts will be madebefore the live version of the competition is aired.

While “American Idol” has not yet shown the Hollywood aspect ontelevision, that part of the contest has already been filmed.However, Dupree was only able to comment on her experiences inCalifornia, not the outcome of her audition.

“It really helps you figure out who you are and what you want tobe a part of,” said Dupree. “I kind of got a true taste of acelebrity lifestyle as far as filming and things like that (areconcerned).”

While local “American Idol” fans will have to wait to see iftheir hometown favorite advances in the show, she did mention thatshe sang “I Told You So,” which was covered by Carrie Underwood onher 2007 album, “Carnival Ride.”

“It was a really good song for me,” said Dupree. “It showed offmy range.”

Dupree is no stranger to stretching her vocal cords. TheParklane Academy graduate said she participated in show choir fromseventh grade until her senior year in high school and hasperformed in pageants, at weddings and at her aunt and uncle’srestaurant in Summit.

“Singing has always been something I have definitely done,” saidDupree.

Dupree has recently relocated to Baton Rogue to pursue a careerin cosmetology. However, the hairdressing singer could find herselfat a crossroad if her music career begins to grow.

“Never could I have thought a girl from Summit, Miss., could bea part of something so big,” said Dupree.