Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 2/7/12
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For years, Brittany Kerr was the only person who knew the sound of her singing voice. As one of the invited finalists on American Idol, which begins its Hollywood Week on Wednesday, the whole country will now soak in this Kerrs striking vocals. A dancer for the NBAs Charlotte Bobcats, Kerr earned the invitation to Hollywood after impressing the judges at the Savannah, Ga., audition when she sang Josh Stones Spoiled. But her trek to Hollywood has been a bit unusual. Unlike most contestants, such as last years winner Scotty McCreery, who is also from North Carolina, Kerr has no formal training nor did she have much experience singing before audiences prior to her tryout. Kerr had performed in front of crowds for years as a cheerleader and athlete in high school and last year during her first season as a dancer with the LadyCats. But singing in front of people was a different deal. The Charlotte native and University of Alabama graduate regularly belted out notes when nobody was around. She loved it. Its who she is. But Kerr just couldnt take singing a step further until last summer when she finally showed off her talents to a few teammates. She did a couple of seconds and I was like, Oh my God, youve got to audition, said Brooke, a LadyCats teammate (its usually first names only for the troupe). It was pretty amazing. Brooke says Kerrs singing was an undercover secret, and by the time she sang for her father a few times, friends and family members strongly encouraged the Crimson Tide football fanatic to go for her dream. So she did. Ive wanted to do something that I really, really dream about, and Ive been dreaming about this for a while, but nobodys known about it, Kerr said. I want to live the life I want to live and make everybody around me proud. The life Kerr has lived didnt involve dancing at Alabama. She wanted to be a regular student. She has a 5-year-old English bulldog named Bentley, is a black-belt in taekwondo and owns a degree in human environmental science. But if you ask the other LadyCats what makes Kerr tick, their replies may be a surprise: Football. Alabama Crimson Tide football, to be exact. She is diehard about that, LadyCats teammate Cara said. She does not play around. Kerr is such a huge Bama fan that even after graduating in the spring of 2009, she took classes that fall because the Crimson Tide were supposed to have a great team. She didnt want to pass on the opportunity of being so close to a possible dream season. Alabama football is a real-life priority for Kerr. I have time every year to watch Bama win, said Kerr, whose Tide didnt let her down, as they won the national championship that season. Kerr may be just 24, but her favorite Crimson Tide player of all time is Joe Namath, who quarterbacked the team in the mid-1960s and later went on to win a Super Bowl and television fame. She owns a few houndstooth hats in honor of legendary coach Bear Bryant. Thats Brittany, Brooke said. The LadyCats had a viewing party for Kerrs debut on Idol, screaming in unison every time their friend appeared on screen. Teammate Cara said they can gain from Kerrs exposure, too. The performing is such a small aspect of it, Cara said. Were in the community 247. Things like meet-and-greet before the games where people are constantly wanting our pictures or constantly videotaping us. We have radio and TV interviews, so Im sure this has definitely prepped her for that. But most important for now is Kerr, who most enjoys signing rap and R&B. I think she can pretty much do a lot of things, Cara said. Especially with her look, she can kind of do anything. The only time Kerr sang in front of a group of people before last June came a couple of years ago in Karaoke bar in New York City. Something nobody even was paying attention to, everybody was just dancing around, so nothing serious, she said. But now its for real. American Idol change lives, and since Kerr wants to sing professionally this is an opportunity to steer her life in that direction. Supremely confident, theres still a side to Kerr that keeps her a bit uneasy. Its kind of intimidating because I feel like a lot of people have had experience, theyve performed in front of a lot of people as a solo artist, and thats something that I havent done, she said. Doing Idol is a huge, huge feat for me. But Kerr also believes she has an advantage in that shes pretty much a blank canvas without any bad habits, so adapting as the process builds shouldnt be much of an issue. Hey, if this diehard Bama fan can embrace former Auburn Tiger Cam Newton as the Carolina Panthers quarterback, she has the courage to do just about anything.
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