Eagle Valley graduate to perform on television reality show ‘Gimme the Mic’ | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley graduate to perform on television reality show ‘Gimme the Mic’

Cassie Pence
Special to the Daily

EAGLE – If Casey Strickler wins “Gimme the Mic,” she wants to use her fame to encourage women to have a positive self-image.UPN20’s “Gimme the Mic” is a localized version of “American Idol,” the reality-based television show where regular people sing for the chance at stardom. “Gimme the Mic” producers chose 42 Colorado contestants, out of the 800 that auditioned, to compete in the eight-week series. Every Wednesday seven performers sing, and three judges choose one to go on to the final show April 27. Friends, family members and viewers can also vote online at http://www.upn20.tv. for one of the six that wasn’t selected. The popular-vote winners will compete in a separate “wild card” show April 20, and the winner from this contest will go on to the finals. “Gimme the Mic” is taped at Red Rocks’ new visitor center.”It’s basically how can someone impress these three total strangers in one minute with their voice and with their showmanship,” said Moss Cremer, the show’s executive producer.Casey, who graduated from Eagle Valley High School in 2002, decided to try out on a whim and didn’t choose her music until she got to Red Rocks for the audition. She sang Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” a song she’s performed many times.

“I didn’t decide until the day of because I wasn’t sure if I wanted the pressure and the competition. I was praying about it, and that Sunday morning I felt at peace about the show. So I decided to just go for it and have fun with it,” Casey said. “People have always said that I’ve got a God-given talent, and I’ll be able to go places with it. People usually have more faith in my singing than what I do.”When Casey called her mom, Cathy, to tell her she was picked for the show, her mom wasn’t surprised. Cathy had a positive feeling in her gut the whole time.”Casey is a real likable person. She always likes to laugh a lot. She’s an upbeat-type person. She has a little bit of shyness when she gets nervous, but she also has the confidence enough to just be herself. I think that’s important, I think people see that,” said Cathy, who works as a registrar at Eagle Valley High School.Casey had the voice, Moss said, but it was her air of confidence that really won the judges over during auditions.”Casey is so much fun. She is unnerved by anything. She will do very well,” said Moss. “She actually has an incredible voice, as well, but it’s her personality that really showed through.”

Casey’s round on “Gimme the Mic” is tonight at 9 on UPN20 (KTVD), channel 12 in Vail and Avon and channel 14 in Eagle and Gypsum. She will sing “Fallen” by Alicia Keys, and viewers have until the following Monday to vote for her for the wild card show.”This Alicia Keys song has a fun attitude. It just brings out attitude and helps me with my stage performance. If I can feel the beat, then everyone will be able to feel the beat,” Casey said.Casey hopes her appearance on “Gimme the Mic” propels her singing career because she wants to make albums of her own songs. “I want to spin out a positive message. I write my own lyrics, lyrics that are only going to help people in the world and be uplifting,” Casey said.Casey recorded a CD of her own songs in a studio in Tennessee as a personal project. Her songs talk about battles growing up and how it’s important for women to have a positive self-concept.

“Image is the No. 1 struggle for women today. Eating disorders are starting out at the age of 8. I still struggle with image issues, but it’s about realizing that there is more than this. You want to be respected, you want to be looked at as someone of worth and not just a piece of meat,” said Casey. “You need to like the way you are, like the curves and the shape that you have. Take care of yourself, but like who you are.”According to Moss, Casey is on the fast-track to the finals.”If you really want to win you have to dress the part, act the part and sing well. So far, Casey has done all three of those things,” said Moss.For more information on “Gimme the Mic,” log on to http://www.upn20.tv.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or cpence@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado

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