Natalie White a finalist for All American Girl
Tuesday, April 8, 2003
BY AVON WATERS
Anderson native Natalie White, 21, is one of 10 women competing for $100,000, a recording contract and the title of the All American Girl, on the ABC's reality talent show of the same name.
White, a 1999 Highland graduate and a senior at Northwestern University, battled her way to the top 10 out of more than 400 other women in the competition. She used her talents of singing, dancing and on the keyboard, said her mother, Addie White.
"The show is like a combination of Miss America and American Idol," Addie White said. "Now we're down to the stage where Wednesday night, the public starts voting for their favorite (entertainer)."
Addie and her husband, Jerry White, have mobilized all their relatives and friends locally, and in other states, to drum up the votes for their daughter.
"We're hoping the city will support her," Jerry White said. "After all, she's an Anderson girl and we know an Anderson girl is the All American Girl."
There's nobody else from the Midwest, Addie said.
People will vote Wednesday and get the results the next week, she said.
"They'll be eliminating girls each week until they come up with the winner," Jerry said. "We know she will be there till the end," he added proudly.
Natalie is no stranger to competition. She won the 1996 grand prize in the Great American Modeling and Talent Search held in Pittsburgh, Pa. She also was in the Highland High School show choir, and has competed in many music competitions.
She started playing piano at age 3, her mother said. It comes as no surprise to either parent that Natalie is on television now. They saw her talent early in life.
"She's an all-round entertainer," Addie White said. "We're glad to see her get some exposure."
Addie keeps in touch with her daughter several times a day by phone while Natalie is in Los Angeles rehearsing for the show. But Natalie won't tell her mother what happens after the taping of shows, nor anything about cuts that are made to reduce the number of contestants.
"She just tells me, 'no, Mother, you'll have to watch the show to find out what happened," Addie said.
The Whites' phone is red hot after the show airs with friends and relatives calling, Jerry said. He described how he half hides his eyes when it comes time to announce the elimination of the women competing. Addie said she is Natalie's critic and will give her feedback on what looked good, worked or didn't work for her audience.
Natalie entered the competition at the last minute, Jerry White said. She had to send overnight her videotape and photographs.
"They called her the day they received them," Addie White said. Natalie has been in Los Angeles since March 17. Her mother added with confidence, "She'll be there till it's over."