Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Arts/Entertainment

February 13, 2014

McQuillen stays alive -- and singing -- on 'American Idol'

She may not have scored a whole lot of screen time last week. But Andover’s Casey McQuillen was one of the 75 contestants still standing in the journey to become one of the 16 contestants this season on the hit reality show “American Idol.”

McQuillen survived as the field was first narrowed from 212 to 100 wannabes on Wednesday, Feb. 5, during what was the first night of the Hollywood round of tryouts. The following night, she emerged in the top 75 candidates going on to this week’s solo rounds.

She was scheduled to perform her solo number when “American Idol” resumed this Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Neither her solo performance last week, for which she performed Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire,” or her group’s performance, which was the focus of the Feb. 6 episode, made it to air. She was, however, the only contestant in her group invited by the judges to move on.

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 viewers’ votes on the road to the “Idol” crown.

— Sonya Vartabedian, staff writer

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