Kinnelon 'American Idol' Contestant a Top 10 Finalist
Elise Testone voted into next round of singing competition.
Kinnelon native Elise Testone is moving forward in this year's "American Idol" singing competition after it was announced live Thursday that she was voted into the Top 10 by viewers after delivering a performance of Adele's "One and Only" that wowed judges on the live FOX television show Wednesday night.
According to The Post and Courier, about 33 million viewers voted overall Wednesday.
Testone is a 2001 Kinnelon High School graduate currently living in South Carolina. She works as a vocal coach and said she is unable to visit her family's home in Kinnelon as often as she would like.
Technically, Testone is one of 13 finalists who will continue to compete for the title on the singing competition show after judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler brought back three additional contestants who were not voted in as "wild card" contestants during Thursday night's results episode. While an emotional Testone told host Ryan Seacrest that this has been a big week for her, the show also turned the spotlight on the Borough of Kinnelon Wednesday night, even if only for a few seconds, in a video Testone recorded herself during a visit home. Scenery from the borough is shown in the clip, including the Kinnelon High School entrance sign.
Kinnelon Public Schools Superintendent Jim Opiekun said he did not see Wednesday's episode, but that the district is proud of Testone and supporting her in the competition.
"We're all rooting for her and I'm sure there's a lot of text votes coming out of Kinnelon right now," he said.
Also shown in the video Wednesday night was Kinnelon police Sgt. Christopher Burns. Burns said he has known 28-year-old Testone since she was about five years old and is close friends with her family. When she visited Kinnelon a few weeks ago, Burns said she asked him to stop over her house.
"They called me to stop over to say 'hello,' so I went over and sure enough, she's got the video camera going," Burns said.
Burns said he did not know when Testone was filming that he would actually appear in the video on the show. He was on duty Wednesday night and said he received several phone calls and text messages from friends and family members across the country who recognized him.
Even though he was not near a television to watch himself or Testone's performance live, Burns said he was able to vote for Testone via text message after the show. He also watched her performance as soon as he could and said he was impressed with what he saw.
"I thought she did well. I really think shes going to make it through," he said.