Local ‘American Idol’ Finalist Returns Home

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UNIONTOWN, Ohio — She beat incredible odds.

But now Amelia Finefrock is returning home after being a finalist on American Idol.

“It was disappointing, but it’s not the end of the road,” she said. “I’m only 17. I have so much ahead of me.”

Amelia was cut from Fox’s hit show on Wednesday night, after starting her journey last July.

That’s when her parents, siblings and grandmother trucked it to Pittsburgh, where she competed against 14,000 others for a shot at fame. It was completely on a whim.

“Our car was the last car in the parking lot. That was the coolest feeling to walk out and see our car,” said her mother, Andrea Finefrock. “I just couldn’t be more proud of her, and to stand there, ‘Amelia do you realize you’re one out of 14,000 people that was chosen, one out of 14,000 people?' ”

Amelia made it to Hollywood, where the competition was fierce. By then, she was among nearly 300 vying for the title.

“It was fun. It was crazy. I’m not going to lie,” Amelia said. “I met a lot of fun, crazy people. But, I think that was the best part. Meeting the fun, crazy characters.”

Some of those characters were competitive, and at times, would try to psych each other out.

But she didn’t let them get to her.

Amelia said she was lucky to have family support – and her mother by her side.

“I grew up a lot. I learned a lot in the competition,” Amelia said. “But I’m so proud my family. They were there for me every step of the way, saying, ‘We believe in you.’ That’s just priceless. Words can’t express the love I’ve gotten back. It’s a good journey.”

While the journey isn’t set in stone for the Lake High School senior, Amelia said she hopes to accomplish two things: to see the judges next year, and to pursue a career on stage.

“When people meet me, they always assume I’m a quiet kind of girl,” she said. “I’m pretty reserved, but once you get to know me, I’m crazy, outgoing and loud. There’s few things in life that can inspire someone. I think the stage is the perfect place to express yourself. I feel, like, at home.”