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Article updated: 2/13/2013 7:39 AM

Suburban girls compete in American Idol's Hollywood round

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Historically, suburban singers have done well on "American Idol." So perhaps Alex Oechsel, of Naperville, and Ashika Sachdev, of South Barrington, will carry on that tradition Wednesday.

Both 17-year-olds have made it to the show's "Hollywood" round and will attempt to woo judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson with a cappella performances. If they make the cut, they'll compete again in a group competition.


Sachdev, a Barrington High School senior, made it to the Hollywood round on last year's show, but not to the semifinals. Earlier this year, she helped her school win a visit from Rhianna in her "Shine Bright Like a Diamond" contest.

Oechsel, a junior at Benet Academy in Lisle, has performed in local theater productions and also auditioned in 2011 for the show "The X Factor."

The teens are among 13 singers from the Chicago area to be get "golden tickets" to Hollywood. Others suburban girls competing Wednesday night include Jayne Jaeger, 18, of Clarendon Hills, and Mariah Pulice, 19, of Darien.

The performances begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday on FOX. The 40 semifinalists (20 men and 20 women) will be named at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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