Robert E. Lee graduate to audition for 'American Idol'

Published on Wednesday, 2 August 2017 19:09 - Written by ELSA CAVAZOS

Jewel Rena’e Kirkendoll never imagined being in the position she is in today.

In just a week, the 19-year-old Tyler resident and Robert E. Lee High School graduate will perform for a chance to audition on “American Idol.”

Kirkendoll has loved singing since she was 3, but only started to write and sing professionally in 2013.

After submitting a video to an audition where 40 people were chosen, Kirkendoll has the opportunity to perform in Gilmer, Texas, Aug. 10, for a chance to enter the “American Idol” auditions in Dallas.

Contestants have 90 seconds to perform a song of their choice. The Gilmer audition is open to the public.

“It has been a great experience; I have been able to meet new people and will now get the chance to perform in front of a bigger group of people than before,” Kirkendoll said.

Kirkendoll performs locally every so often, but has never performed in front of a big audience.

Her mother Jana Johns said she is excited for her participation and this opportunity.

“She has loved singing since birth, but three years ago she attended a music camp where she (improvised) lyrics and after that she took off and started (writing) song lyrics of her own,” Ms. Johns said. “It has been her passion ever since.”

Kirkendoll plays the violin and the guitar, and played for the orchestra at Green Acres Baptist Church.

“Just to have been given an opportunity to audition is amazing,” Kirkendoll said. “I remember being a kid and watching “American Idol” and telling my parents I would audition one day and now I am. I can’t stop smiling.”


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WHAT: ETX Music Competition (American Idol Partner)

WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 10

WHERE: Gilmer Civic Center, 1218 U.S. Highway 271 North, Gilmer