Ann Marie Ames /The Janesville Gazette
(Published Sept., 1, 2007, 12:24 p.m.)
Angie Grieving's big break in country music won't come far from home.
Greving, of Elkhorn, won the 2007 County Idol contest at the Walworth County Fair. She'll open for country superstar LeAnn Rimes Saturday night.
Greving beat out five other finalists Friday night as they winked, wiggled and wailed it out in an attempt to become the fourth annual Walworth County Fair Country Idol.
Six singers from all over southern Wisconsin brought their best southern twangs and put on a fun show for their fans.
- No, Jeff, you shouldn't have been a cowboy. You were the perfect Country Idol.
Jeff Rath, the 2006 Idol, kicked off the show with a little Toby Keith. The Orfordville man was clad in a sleeveless shirt that would have given Toby a run for his money.
The motivation behind his performance was to promote organ donation, he said. Rath and his wife, Lisa, lost their 13-year-old daughter, Hailey, in a car accident in December 2005. Her organs and tissues have saved the lives of many, Rath said.
- Angie Greving of Elkhorn didn't shy away from a big song. There's nothing easy about Faith Hill's "Mississippi Girl," but Greving sang as if she had faith in herself. Clad in a black felt hat and black western shirt that gave her a Terry Clark look, Greving never stood still.
- Josie Monahan of Mukwonago took a risk with a song not everyone in the crowd could sing along to. "I Break Things" was the first single for the 2005 "Nashville Star" winner Erika Jo. Because the song never made the charts, the crowd didn't have it memorized, but Monahan looked as comfortable as if she were singing in her living room.
- Jeremy Pollard of Williams Bay took the pace-but not the intensity-down a couple notches. Pollard dedicated Randy Travis' "Three Crosses" to the memories of three friends at Badger High School. Travis was a good choice for Pollard, who had an amazingly deep voice despite his baby face.
- Megan Pflueger of Twin Lakes is definitely "That Kind of Girl." She apologized for having a head cold, but the crowd wouldn't have known if she hadn't said anything. The Patty Loveless tune was a good pick for the energetic Pflueger. Her expressive performance may have reminded country fans of a Jo Dee Messina concert.
- Ashley Preston of Milton was out to break the stereotype of Wrangler-clad country stars. Clad in a turquoise knit skirt, 1980s-style cropped leggings and a headband, Preston beamed and enjoyed herself throughout Carrie Underwood's "We're Young and Beautiful."
- Jonelle Frazier of Janesville dedicated her performance to her son, 2-year-old Keyondre. Mom's biggest fan, Keyondre stood in the front row and lead the crowd in clapping along to Reba McEntire's "Take It Back." Frazier sang it like she meant it, and the crowd knew its playing days were through.
- And the winner is ...
The third time was a charm for Greving.
The 26-year-old has been singing since she was 5, but it took her three tries to win the Idol contest.
Greving sings in the band at Sugar Creek Lutheran Church in Elkhorn. She was the 2005 Rock County 4-H Fair Star and is a former Rock County 4-H'er.
The best part about performing is the difference the crowd makes, Greving said.
"You're not yourself anymore," she said. "It's amazing. I don't know what it's going to be like in front of the grand stand crowd Saturday."
Greving will sing two songs before LeAnn Rimes' show Saturday night at the grandstand.
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