Carissa Dawn Biele, 25, of Memphis, Tenn., formerly of Fulton, has been working hard for three years to become the 2008 Missouri State Fair Idol.
“I’m ecstatic. This was the goal of my summer,” Biele said.
A crowd of more than 400 people gathered in the Budweiser tent on the fairgrounds Sunday to watch 19 contestants perform.
Britt Faaborg, of Sedalia, has been judging the State Fair Idol performances for two years. One thing the judges look for, in addition to singing ability, is how a contestant works with the crowd.
“We need someone who can perform and who has the whole package deal,” Faaborg said.
Biele performed Gretchen Wilson’s, “All Jacked Up.” During her performance, Biele jumped off the stage to interact with the crowd better.
Biele said she used to get nervous during performances, but that was not the case Sunday.
“We were keeping our fingers crossed,” Cathy Biele, Carissa’s mother, said. “Of course, being her mom, I think she is the best, but she had a lot of great competition.”
Biele has been singing her whole life but only recently decided to focus on her musical career. She is a business development coordinator for a race track in Memphis.
“In September, I will be singing the national anthem for the NASCAR truck series,” Biele said.
Biele will also perform with her band in Memphis throughout the year to prepare for next year’s fair performance.
She received a trophy and the honor of being the opening act at the grandstand for the 2009 Missouri State Fair.
“I want to show the world what I have to offer,” Biele said.