Friday, January 15, 2010

Winner, South Dakota native Mallorie Haley wows American Idol judges

The young girl from Winner who wowed the crowds at the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo with her vocals is now hoping to wow the judges of “American Idol.”

So far, so good.

Next stop, Hollywood.

Mallorie Haley was featured on Wednesday night’s Fox broadcast of the national singing competition, auditioning for Idol judges in Atlanta. The 20-year-old Haley impressed the panel with her version of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” Among the four judges who voted her through to Hollywood was R&B icon Mary J. Blige, one of Haley’s favorite artists.

Her successful audition earned her a ticket to Hollywood, where she will compete this month for the opportunity to appear on the live telecasts. The Hollywood auditions are scheduled to be televised in February.

Mallorie called her mother after earning the ticket in Atlanta auditions, which were taped last summer.

“She was really excited,” said her mother, Tracie.

While she is still in the competition, Mallorie is under contract with “American Idol” and is not permitted to speak to the media. But in an interview with Fox, Haley said she decided to audition because it would be fun and a good opportunity.

“I’ve literally been doing it all my life. I started singing and going on the road when I was 5,” she said. “So, it’s just what I know.”

Haley has performed at sporting events, contests and rodeos -- including the Black Hills Stock Show -- and was the opening act for many popular country music artists. She performed the national anthem at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas when she was 6.

“I remember (NFR) was huge deal for me because my idol has always been Reba” McEntire, Mallorie said during her post-audition interview. “And I remember everyone telling me that it was a really big deal when Reba got to sing there when she was 19, and she was so young -- and then I got to do it when I was 6.”

“It’s been very good experience doing all those things when she was younger,” Tracie said.

After graduating from Winner High School in 2007, Mallorie moved to Nashville to pursue a music career.

“She’s wanted to do this for a long time,” Tracie Haley said. “We’ve always just told her, you’ve got to go for your dream.”

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