Bishop continues trek toward ‘American Idol’ title

By Laura J. Cummings

 

Casey Bishop

Casey Bishop gets closer to winning “American Idol” with her Top 12 performance April 12. (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Casey Bishop is well on her way to fulfilling Luke Bryan’s prediction that she’ll win the title of American Idol 2021. The Estero teen’s style is so unique—it’s got superstar written all over it.

After putting her own soulful spin on the Judy Garland classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz,” Bishop has landed a spot in the Top 9! America loves Casey Bishop!

Following her earlier performance of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” — which propelled her into the top 12 — the Idol judges had this to say:

“You can sing anything,” Luke Bryan said. “Why you chose rock, I’ll never know, but it’s your thing and you can sing!”

“You start out as this fairy princess, and then you end up being close to Joplin…You’re holding these notes out to the point of just plain phenomenal,” said Lionel Richie.

Katy Perry echoed those sentiments, calling Bishop’s performance “so ‘A’ level.”

What America is wondering is, “Where did this voice come from?”

Even her mom, Danielle Davis, doesn’t quite know. Casey is the youngest of four children, and no one else in the family is overly musical.

“My husband is a golf pro, and I can cook,” said Davis, a food and beverage manager at a golf club in Estero.

Now America has been privileged to hear what Casey’s family hears every single night at home: the mesmerizing sound of her singing voice.

“Every day, I need to sing in my bathroom,” Casey said. She grabs her trusty Conair hairbrush, clutches it like a microphone and imagines she’s on stage.

Until “American Idol,” Casey’s very short list of performances consisted of a couple school concerts. Her big lead role was way back in third grade as Cruella de Vil in Three Oaks Elementary’s performance of Disney’s “101 Dalmatians.”

Casey didn’t perform at all in middle school—except in front of the mirror. But she knew she wanted to sing, so she auditioned for the arts program at Cypress Lake High School, a unique program within the public School District of Lee County.

“I walked into that school knowing absolutely nothing about music,” Casey said.

All that practice with her hairbrush paid off. Her audition was memorable for Vocal Director Gary Stroh, who’s been teaching at the Center for the Arts and directing its choral groups for 20 years.

“Some people, you work with them and they get better, but Casey just came in with that talent,” he said. “When she opens up, you just want to stop and listen. Her voice has a presence and a depth to it. We may have polished it up a bit, but mostly, it’s just her having the ‘it’ factor.”

Casey has an unassuming demeanor with her timid yet radiant smile and expresses herself better in song than she does in interviews. Stroh describes Casey as “super chill” and “low key.”

While most kids her age have their AirPods in listening to pop or rap, Casey listens to classic ’80s rock. Her list of musical inspirations includes Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Stevie Nix (Fleetwood Mac), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) and Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam).

“She started listening to our music and liking what we like,” explained her mother. “She opened her mind, and she just admired their artistry. She’s an old soul.”

The 16-year-old singer recently got to rock out on a duet and get some pro tips from guest mentor Brandon Boyd, lead singer of Incubus.

“I asked him, ‘If you’re nervous before you go on stage, how do you calm yourself down and stop overthinking it?’ He told me, just have fun and be in the moment and don’t think too much about it—just enjoy it all,” Bishop said.

She’s taken that advice to heart and has been totally enjoying every minute of her American Idol experience — especially when she’s on stage.

“I just want to keep going—I just want to be on stage with a bunch of people who support me and my music,” she said. “I love it more than I thought I could.”

1 Comment

  1. Dave Harding on April 26, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Doesn’t do well in interviews? What are you nuts? The kid is as great in interviews as she is when she sings. She’s got it all, the voice, the looks, the poise, absolutely everything. But is the current American Idol a big enough venue to push her to stardom. Six or seven million viewers an episode isn’t exactly the old Idol numbers. I think the Justin Bieber You tube route to stardom would be better than wasting her time on a show, like its competition the Voice, that isn’t capable of producing a star.