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‘American Idol’ runner-up coming to St. Charles

Crystal Bowersox
Crystal Bowersox

“American Idol” runner-up Crystal Bowersox remains very much in the spotlight these days.

In 2010, Bowersox placed second in the ninth season of “American Idol,” being named runner-up to Lee DeWyze, of Mount Prospect. In March, she will release her second album, “All That For This,” and later this year will play Patsy Cline on Broadway.

Bowersox is sure to perform songs from her new album when she appears at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. Tickets start at $15 and are available by calling 630-962-7000 or at

Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Bowersox about the upcoming show.

Eric Schelkopf: Of course, Lee DeWyze is from Mount Prospect, and some of his fans could very well show up for your show.

Crystal Bowersox: Oh, sure, we share fans, and that’s always a good thing.

ES: So, that’s OK if they show up?

CB: Absolutely. I would welcome them for sure, no matter who they are a fan of.

ES: Your new CD, “All That For This,” comes out March 26. What kind of goals did you have for the CD? Did you want to build on what you did with your first CD?

CB: I think this is just another step in my life story. The process in making this record was a little more relaxed.

It was a little easier. There wasn’t the same crazy energy coming off “American Idol.”

My goals for it are that I just send it out to the world, and I hope people like it. I hope it does well, and I’m going to have a really good time going on tour with it.

ES: Of course, you have a duet with Jakob Dylan on the song “Stitches.” What was it like recording with him?

CB: He was a breeze to work with. He’s just an all-around, nice guy.

My husband and I wrote “Stitches” together for our 4-year-old son, who, I believe was 2 1/2 or 3 at the time that he ran into a coffee table, and got stitches.

ES: What do you think Dylan brought to the song?

CB: His voice is so unique. I think that he brought a whole new flavor to it.

I was so used to singing it a different way, and singing it with Jakob with a completely new melody was fun. It was fun to work with him.

ES: It seems like you just kind of put yourself out there as far as things going on in your life. Would you call the record autobiographical?

CB: I think most of my music is that way. The only experiences I can share are the experiences that I have had.

It’s tough sometimes when I think about the material, and what I’m putting out there. A song like “Shine,” for example, is a very personal, heartfelt, tragic song.

It’s very real. It makes me feel pretty horrible. But I know that is what fans really appreciate, the honesty in knowing that there’s someone who is also going through the same emotions that maybe they are.

ES: I know that when you were 8 years old, you used to sing Patsy Cline songs with your mom and now you will be playing Patsy Cline on Broadway. How does it feel to take on that role?

CB: It feels pretty good. I know that they are big shoes to fill, or big boots to fill, rather.

She’s a music icon, and one of the most unique voices of the century, in my opinion. It’s quite an undertaking.

The producers called me, so if it goes awry, it’s their fault. I’m going to have a really good time with this. I already feel like I’m getting a personal attachment to the role.

ES: You were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when you were 6, and one of the things that you want to do is bring about diabetes awareness. I remember the commercial you made with B.B. King.

CB: That was a lot of fun to get to work with B.B. I’m definitely an advocate for Type 1 diabetes awareness.

I think so much these days, people view diabetes as a blanket term for the epidemic of obesity. People don’t understand it. They don’t understand what it is like.

People need to know the difference, and then they need to know what to look out for in their own lives. Food is medicine, I will stress that, food is medicine.

ES: It seems like the “American Idol” contestants who finish in second place sometimes end up having better careers than those who finished first.

CB: I don’t know if it’s so dependent upon the place that you come in. Jennifer Hudson is a great example; Chris Daughtry is another great example.

I think it has more to do with the choices you make after the show, and your business sense and things like that. Having a great team around you to get you where you need to be is imperative.

Everybody wins on that show, because you’re on TV in front of 30 million people.

ES: What was the biggest thing that “American Idol” gave you?

CB: Confidence, for sure. It gave me a lot of confidence, and it gave me a sense of knowing what I’m made of and what I’m capable of.

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