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Article updated: 2/15/2013 8:55 AM

Elk Grove teen may be finalist on 'Windy City Live' contest

By Melissa Silverberg

An Elk Grove High School freshman will find out Friday morning if she is a finalist in the Windy City Live Search for a Star competition.

Taylor Matos, who auditioned with more than 300 others last month, was selected as one of the top 12 to sing in several rounds of the ABC 7 morning show's competition.

At 14, Taylor is the youngest singer in the contest by far, which she said can be a little nerve-wracking, but exciting.

"It's been one of the best experiences of my life," she said. "It's so fun with the live audience and then you go home and see it on TV and it's almost surreal."

Taylor said she has been singing since she learned to talk, and while she's had a few lessons, her voice just comes naturally.

On Thursday morning, Taylor sang Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" in the semifinal round as she faced off against Suzi Carpenter, 45 of Wanatah, Ind.

"I thought it went well, but Suzi was really good too, so I'm just hoping I can pull through," she said.

Outside of her recent TV appearances, Taylor sings the national anthem for Elk Grove High School sporting events, spends time with her supportive family and friends and is looking forward to starting driver's ed in August.

Driver's ed could take on added urgency if Taylor wins the competition. As one of the sponsors of the contest, Mazda will give the winner a 2014 Mazda 6 GT.

Friday morning the judges will announce whether Taylor or Carpenter will join two other finalists in the last round of the competition.

The other finalists are Glen Kimble of Gary, Ind. and Adam LeBlanc from Chicago.

The three finalists will sing a final song Thursday, Feb. 21 before the competition opens to the public for another round of online voting. The winner will be named live on the show Feb. 22. If she makes the final three Taylor said she is thinking of singing "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys as her last song.

Windy City Live airs on ABC 7 weekdays at 9 a.m.

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