Harris, 20, of Garrattsville, is also competing on this season of “American Idol.” The two knew each other before the show ever started; both competed in the local Junior Idol competition, and they sang “You’re the One That I Want” at the Oneonta Theatre during a sock hop put on by Townsquare Media.
Jackson was well received in Oneonta Saturday as she greeted fans and autographed copies of her CD, “Crush.”
“I just love her,” said Joan Lawton of Morris. “I came out to support her today. She is really talented.”
With Jackson on Saturday were her parents, Terri and John Jackson, and her best friend from Norwich, Nicole Little, who helps Jackson manage her social media.
“I love being here with her,” Little said. “She is really talented.”
“One thing I noticed when we were in Hollywood is that many of the competitors come from performing arts schools,” Terri Jackson said. “They will be afforded the time off of school for tryouts. There were only a handful of kids like Kaitlyn who come from the public school system.”
The Jacksons described their daughter has having an honest and wholesome spirit and a good work ethic. She makes top grades and takes her schoolwork seriously, they said, even when studying under tutors in Hollywood. As a 10th-grader, she is taking advanced-placement courses and expects to graduate with honors.
Jackson’s first performance was at age 5, when she competed in a school talent show.
“She was nervous,” John Jackson recalled. “She dropped the microphone, and then she ran off stage. I talked to her and helped her come back onstage. And she has been singing ever since.”
The next two segments of American Idol will be aired Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. on Fox Television.