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CHESTERFIELD — American Idol golden ticket recipient Carrie Brockwell made it to Hollywood but did not advance beyond the first challenge. What is she up to now?
"I was pretty bummed about not making it to the duet round, but I have to say... the experience of making it to Hollywood... especially on my first try at 15 ...was awesome for me," Brockwell said.
Brockwell is a sophomore at Appomattox Regional Governor's School in Petersburg. Since she is a minor, Barry Brockwell had to chaperone his daughter at all times.
"My dad traveled with me to Austin and Hollywood," Brockwell said. "It was a bummer my mom [Melissa Brockwell] couldn't go. Due to COVID, only one guardian could accompany me."
Currently, American Idol wannabees can be no older than 29 at the time of their audition, and all contestants are required to be at least 15 years of age.
Golden Ticket to Hollywood
Brockwell's most memorable American Idol moment was walking into the judges' room in Austin, Texas.
"It was surreal... the sound, lighting and everything was so perfect," Brockwell said. "Luke [Bryan], Katy [Perry] and Lionel [Richie] looked awesome... almost unreal, and when I got three yeses and what they said... well, that was pretty memorable."
Brockwell's audition was not aired, and due to American Idol's confidentiality agreement, the teen is not at liberty to discuss the judges' comments.
After the country, bluesy, jazzy-style singer earned a golden ticket, it was extremely difficult for her and the Brockwell family to keep her amazing accomplishment a secret.
"I was able to say I had auditioned, but I couldn't say if I got a golden ticket or not," Brockwell said.
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Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles
For the Hollywood week competition held at Orpheum Theatre, Brockwell selected the country genre as it best describes her style of music.
Lauren Alaina, American Idol's tenth season runner-up, mentored contestants who selected the country genre.
"It was pretty cool listening to her and sitting with her," Brockwell said.
Other mentors included previous Idol winners or contestants who have made it in the music industry: Ruben Studdard [R&B], Haley Reinhart [Soul], David Cook [Rock], Lee Dewyze [Indie-Folk], Jordin Sparks [Pop], and reigning winner Chayce Beckham [Country].
During the challenge, contestants only went head-to-head within their genre. Brockwell is not permitted to say what song she sang for the celebrity judges.
According to Brockwell, after about nine to 10 contestants sang solos, they returned to the stage as a group to find out from the judges who would advance to the next round.
"Wow, what an incredible journey! Unfortunately, I did not make it through," Brockwell posted on Facebook and Instagram on March 29.
Brockwell thanked American Idol for the opportunity, the experience she gained, and the friendships she made.
"I guess it just wasn’t in God’s plans for me at this point. I am incredibly humbled by all the support and the kind words from everyone over the last few months," Brockwell posted. "Thank you so much! This experience has and is continuing to open doors for me, so stay tuned."
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Singer-songwriter Carrie Brockwell
The Chesterfield resident started singing at a young age. At age four, Brockwell and her dad selected the song "Highway 20 Ride" written by Zac Brown and Wyatt Durrette to perform at their church's talent show. She sang while he played his guitar.
Most Sundays, Brockwell continues to share her gift of music at Chester Baptist Church with the praise band. In addition to singing, she strikes ebony and ivory keys and strums strings.
"I began doing musical theater shows at SPARC, Virginia Rep Theatre and Fort Lee Playhouse. It was here where I really began to get inspired to perform and sing," Brockwell said.
Since she announced her participation in the popular singing competition, Brockwell has performed locally at Main Line Brewery, The Reserve, Meadowbrook Country Club and Three Leg Run Brewery.
"I am doing a live stream from In Your Ear Studios in Richmond coming up on April 19 with the band that recorded my 'Impressions' EP," Brockwell said. "I also have gigs lined up in the Outer Banks over the summer."
Shockoe Sessions Live! features new musical artists and entertainment commentary on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. on Facebook @inyourearstudios.
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Brockwell is 'Going to Hollywood': American Idol Season 20: Chesterfield teen Carrie Brockwell earns Golden Ticket in Austin
Chesterfield teen auditions for Idol: American Idol hopeful: Appomattox Regional Governor's School sophomore Carrie Brockwell
Brockwell's American Idol experience served as validation to her that she may be good enough to make it as a singer-songwriter. Encouraging words provided by the judges as well as other artists that she met along the journey have inspired her to reach for the stars.
"I'm going to keep writing, recording and playing gigs," Brockwell said. "The first week of April, I had a spontaneous Nashville Broadway debut. I appreciate Legends Corner for letting me sit in for a few songs."
Recently, Brockwell visited Belmont University in Tenn. located just two miles from downtown Nashville. She believes its music programs may be a good fit for her.
"I also met with a management company while I was in Nashville," Brockwell shared. "They want me to join in on a few writing sessions to meet other writers and see where that could lead."
American Idol's Top 24
On Sunday and Monday, the Top 24 performed at Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawaii.
Platinum ticket recipient 18-year-old Kenedi Anderson of Crozet, Va. performed Monday evening on American Idol, however, nobody could cast a vote for her. Host Ryan Seacrest announced she had withdrawn from the competition due to personal reasons.
Winners are determined by viewers' votes. This Sunday, the Top 20 will be revealed, and the show goes live from coast to coast on Monday, April 18.
As for Brockwell, well... she cherishes every American Idol moment and confidently stated, "This is just the beginning for me."
To learn more about Brockwell, visit carriebrockwellmusic.com, and follow her on Twitter @cbrockwellmusic, TikTok @carriebrockwellmusic and Instagram @carriebrockwellmusic.
Platinum ticket recipient quits: Kenedi Anderson withdraws from 'American Idol' after Monday night's performance
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This article originally appeared on The Progress-Index: American Idol contestant Carrie Brockwell performs on honky-tonk stage