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Idol hopeful gains confidence

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Manteca Idol contestant Cheyenne Hickey, second from left, congratulates fellow Idol contestant.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED September 2, 2010 2:28 a.m.
Cheyenne Hickey had her butterflies when she first went up on stage during week one of Manteca Idol to try her hand at performing solo in front of a crowd.

As an East Union choir participant and the daughter of a musician that performs for local senior homes as Patsy Cline, it wasn’t like she wasn’t used to being around the stage. She credits performing as her biggest passion.

But by the time she took the stage Wednesday night for the Idol’s Wildcard round to see which six remaining contestants made the finals, Hickey had worked out all of her kinks – turning in what could have been the performance of the night with Mandy Moore’s “Only Hope.”

“I just felt a whole lot more comfortable up there tonight,” said Hickey. “The first time I stepped up there, I was nervous, but all of that went away for me and it just felt right.”

The 16-year-old East Union student credits her participation in choir, color guard, and the French Camp 4-H – where she has raised swine for the last five years – as the main school-related activities that keep her busy outside of her school work.

When she isn’t doing something on campus, Hickey can normally be found hanging out with friends, or going with her mother to various places to watch her perform old-time country staples – something she says opened up her eyes to a whole new world of music that she wasn’t necessarily accustomed to.

“It really allowed me to appreciate the old country as well as the new country and the other music that I listened to,” Hickey said. “I love music, so opening up something like that was great to have happen.”

Starting next week, she’ll join the remaining 12 Idol contestants for the finals to see who has what it takes to make it through November to receive the crown and the cash prize that goes along with the title.

Just gaining experience performing and meeting new people, she says, is what she hopes to take away from the Idol experience.

“Just getting up there and having fun is what I’m looking forward to the most,” Hickey said. “That and meeting new people are really what I’m enjoying about this. Everybody is so friendly and so supportive. I’m really glad that I made the decision to participate in this.”

The Idol competition continues on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. through the first week of November at Chez Shari at the Manteca golf cours clubhouse. Admission is $5.

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