EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 7, 2014

Andover vocalist advances to next 'American Idol' round

ANDOVER — She may not have scored a whole lot of screen time this week. But Andover’s Casey McQuillen is one of the 75 contestants still standing in the journey to become among the final 16 on this season’s “American Idol.”

On Wednesday night’s telecast, McQuillen survived as the field was narrowed from 212 to 100 wannabes on what was the first night of the Hollywood round of tryouts.

Then last night, she emerged in the top 75 candidates going on to next week’s solo rounds.

She tweeted during the broadcast that she will perform her solo number when “American Idol” resumes next Wednesday.

Neither her solo performance this week, for which she performed Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire,” or her group’s performance, which was the focus of last night’s episode, made it to air.

Since scoring her golden ticket to Hollywood and winning rave reviews from the judges on last week’s episode, McQuillen has been turning to social media to expand her fan base and boost her national exposure.

Last weekend, she began a Facebook campaign to secure 20,000 likes for her “American Idol” audition tape, which is posted on youtube.

She was spotted on “American Idol” promos leading up to this week’s Hollywood nights.

The 21-year-old McQuillen grew up in Andover, attending local schools, before going on to Phillips Academy in Andover for high school. She is currently enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Over the coming week or so, the contestants will be whittled down to about 30, then the final 16 who will vie for the “Idol” crown in season 13 of the popular Fox reality show.

— Sonya Vartabedian, staff writer

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