Christie’s “American Idol” experience

by Louise H. McGregor, staff writer

Kenneth Christie, who grew up in Hawaii, has a lot of relatives and friends in this area of Minnesota and their support was obvious when he competed in the 2014 and 2016 Deer River Wild Rice Festival’s Amateur Music Competition.

He won the first place trophy during the 2014 contest and in the 2016 competition he placed second, only missing a tie by one point.

“I’ve always had a love for music,” said Christie. “Especially since I grew up in Hawaii and that state lives on music. I’ve been to many Kanikapila (Hawaiian word for jam session) and learned to appreciate music, but country music has always gotten to me the most because of how real and life-like it is. My Minnesota family drilled the greats into my brain as well; Cash, Haggard, Nelson, Miller, and so on.

“I’ve been singing from a young age, all the way from the Lion King and other Disney musicals to choir class in high school, but have never taken a formal lesson.”

Christie would have been in Deer River for the 2015 Deer River Wild Rice Festival Amateur Music Competition, but he had other plans for that date. He had decided to try out for the “American Idol” television show and he was accompanied on that trip by his Aunt Missy.

The following is the story that he wrote about that trip and the try out for the show.

—All the granola bars and pb&j sandwiches stashed in the backseat of my 2004 PT Cruiser could never have prepared me for the grueling 16 hour drive from Bemidji to Denver, Colorado.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

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