Buzz Worthy

Bradenton’s Erin Kelly on ‘Idol’’

The Winghouse of Bradenon erupted with cheers. “Go Erin!” screamed workers and patrons.

Server Erin Kelly appeared on screen for mere moments.

But it proved enough for her to survive the cruel and unusual Group Night of the hugely popular Fox reality television competition series “American Idol” last week.

“She’s very outgoing and sweet,” said Winghouse Assistant Manager Shane Doyle when I dropped in Friday for a late lunch at the eatery, 5105 14th St. W. “We’re all very proud of her.”

Kelly’s group performed Cee Lo’s smash “Forget You.”

Judges Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Skeletor, ah, Steven Tyler, didn’t exactly gush over their rendition.

But it earned 21-year-old Kelly, who’s forbidden by Fox from speaking to reporters, an advancement.

The Manatee County resident sits poised for a future appearance Wednesday or Thursday on “American Idol.”

Viewing parties will again be held at Winghouse.

Not only does Kelly work there -- when not in Hollywood -- it’s where she fine-tuned her singing skills.

Before traveling to New Orleans last July to successfully audition for “American Idol,” Kelly built up her courage and vocal chops at Winghouse.

“When I first met her she didn’t have the confidence,” recalled coworker Alicia Logan. “So some girls and I got her to sing for us in the back at work.”

Their positive reaction prompted Kelly to perform out front.

“When she saw how happy the customers were and heard them clapping, she looked so happy,” Logan said.

From the local Winghouse to national TV.

Only on “American Idol.”

Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at (941) 745-7057. Visit his blog at bradenton.com.

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