Rising Star? Local singer may appear on #039;American Idol#039;

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 17, 2005

Kelly Greco has been an Ironton star for years, but is she America's next idol?

Everyone will have to tune in to "American Idol," Fox Television's popular talent search reality show, to find out.

The 22-year-old Rock Hill High School graduate known for her strong voice and local performances of country and pop tunes may make an appearance on the hit show that drew approximately 29 million viewers for its premier episode last season.

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Greco was one of approximately 20,000 people who waited for two days on the sidewalks of Cleveland to audition and more than 100,000 hopefuls that auditioned for the show's fourth season that premiers at 8 p.m. Tuesday with the Washington D.C. auditions.

The taped shows will air every Tuesday and Wednesday for five weeks in January and February. The Cleveland auditions should air around Feb. 1. The top finalists advanced to the Hollywood round.

Though she may have been just another contestant,

Greco's talent has never been a mystery to many in her hometown community.

"I saw her at the Ironmaster Days. She was just fantastic," said Cheryl Cleary. "I thought then, 'Where did this girl come from?'

"I am not a bit surprised. She definitely has star quality and entertainment skills. I am just thrilled to death that she is from here."

Under contest rules, Greco and her family must remain tight lipped about the entire experience. And there is no guarantee that she will appear on television, even if she advances.

Potential stars must pass two auditions before they ever get in front of the show's celebrity judges. If they make it that far, their performance then determines if they head to California.

The daughter of James and Donna Greco, Kelly began performing at the age of 15.

Greco spends her days as radiologic technician at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, but has never given up on her dream.

Greco has appeared at many local events including the 2002 Ironmaster Days festival, Ashland, Ky.,'s Summer Motion, the Highway 23 Jamboree at the Paramount Arts Center and in Shawnee State University's musical, "A Tribute to Patsy Cline."

She was also a finalist for the USA Network's Nashville Star competition. This time she is hoping to go all the way.

Everyone will have to watch to see if Ironton's star can truly become an American Idol.