Tag Archives: South Dakota

Two Queens contestants make it to American Idol’s top 24


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Fox

Hundreds of thousands of “American Idol” hopefuls were narrowed down to 24 over the past month, with two Queens crooners making the cut.

Heejun Han, of Flushing, and Astoria’s Creighton Fraker both withstood the auditions, Hollywood and a trip to Las Vegas to make it to the shows semifinals round, and now have the opportunity to sing live in front of America, hopefully earning the viewers’ votes.

Fraker grew up as a preacher’s kid in South Dakota, finding his voice in church choirs and local boys’ singing groups. He took private lessons throughout the years and eventually joined a touring choir, serenading audiences across the nation.

The 28 year old moved to Astoria eight years ago.

For his turn in front of the judges, Fraker belted out Smokey Robinson’s “Who’s Lovin’ You,” as well as an untitled original piece.

“[The judges] had only good things to say. They were shocked at how unique I was,” Fraker told The Courier.

READ CREIGHTON FRAKER’S INTERVIEW WITH THE QUEENS COURIER

Han, 22, originally from Korea, shocked the judging triumvirate with his audition performance of “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” by Michael Bolton.

“You have a beautiful tone,” Jennifer Lopez told Han, who said he loves singing Soul and R&B.

Han’s Facebook fan page already has nearly 8,000 likes.

In their final performances before the judges, both Fraker and Han paid homage to their hometown singing Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.”

The semifinalists will be sliced in half during next week’s round. The men will perform Tuesday night with the women singing for the “Idol” lives on Wednesday. Viewer votes will determine the 12 finalists who will compete to become the 11th American Idol on Thursday.  Each show airs on Fox 5 at 8 p.m.

Additional reporting by Alexa Altman

 

Creighton Fraker makes Queens proud on ‘American Idol’


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Fox’s American Idol

People should get used to pronouncing Creighton Fraker. It’s going to be a household name.

An Astoria resident for the past eight years, Fraker grabbed the ultimate brass ring for a star on the rise — a coveted golden ticket on Fox’s “American Idol.”

Fraker grew up as a preacher’s kid in South Dakota, finding his voice in church choirs and local boys’ singing groups. He took private lessons throughout the years and eventually joined a touring choir, serenading audiences across the nation.

He always knew he wanted to sing.

Eight-and-a-half years ago, Fraker moved east to the Big Apple.

In New York and out of work, he took to the streets, performing for crowds in public parks and on sidewalks. He waited tables and poured cocktails, anything to make ends meet.

Fraker’s 28th birthday this year marked his last chance to win a spot on “American Idol,” since the show enforces an age cut-off for contestants.

It was an opportunity Fraker seized.

He and two friends drove from New York to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the “American Idol” audition, each with dreams of stardom. The trio camped overnight on the sidewalk outside the stadium where auditions were held, along with thousands of other hopeful contestants.

For his turn in front of the judges, Fraker belted out Smokey Robinson’s “Who’s Lovin’ You,” as well as an untitled original piece.

“[The judges] had only good things to say,” said Fraker. “They were shocked at how unique I was.”

Influenced heavily by Michael Jackson, Fraker also admitted to the impression “American Idol” judge Steven Tyler has had on his sound.

“[Steven Tyler] has always been a big idol of mine,” said Fraker. “It’s more than insane to hear him commenting on my music.”

Of the three hopefuls that traveled together, Fraker was the only one to make it to Hollywood.

With the golden ticket clutched in his hand, Fraker dialed his mother. He wanted her to be the first to hear the news.

“I was elated,” he said. “I was so excited to find out that I hadn’t been waiting around in line for nothing.”

With the first “Hollywood Week” behind him, Fraker looks forward to his future on “American Idol” and the musical ventures to follow.

“I was struggling to find a way to pay my rent before now,” said Fraker. “Now, there’s a hope of becoming a household name. It’s completely [turned] my whole world [around].”

“American Idol” airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox 5.