Poulsbo’s Baker shines in Star Search lineup

POULSBO — Elaina Baker may have been destined for stardom before she even knew how to talk.

Her first public vocal solo was at the age of 5, but the lifelong Poulsbo resident said her parents have told her she was born singing.

“My parents have a great background in music so I’m just following in their footsteps with my love of music,” Baker explained.

And this week, Baker, 26, gets to show off her talent in one of the biggest arenas yet — as one of five Kitsap County residents among the 36 semifinalists in the Star Search Seattle competition. She will be vying for one of the top seven spots in the competition during the next show at 8 p.m. June 11 on KIRO TV, channel 7. Baker will be performing Kelly Clarkson’s “Before Your Love.”

But for now, Baker said she’s just focusing on being grateful for how far she’s come.

“It’s been an amazing experience thus far and who knows what will happen,” Baker commented Monday on her anticipation for Friday’s show. “It’s going to be a great show.”

A 1995 North Kitsap High School graduate and the 1994-1995 Miss Poulsbo, Baker calls herself a Poulsbo girl at heart. She and her husband Matthew are raising their 4-year-old daughter Olivia in Little Norway and said they love the town. Baker is a stay-at-home mom who works one day a week at the Poulsbo Athletic Club and has been active at Christ Memorial Church since she was young.

Baker first heard about the Star Search Seattle showcase through a mailing from sponsor Clearwater Casino. Auditions were held in Redmond and at the casino and a total of about 250-300 people were considered for the 36 spots. Baker was one of about 150 singers who had a chance to audition for judges at the Suquamish location.

“I had the whole American Idol experience and got to wait in line for three hours,” Baker recalled with a laugh.

Seven competitors from the bank of 36 semifinalists will advance to the Star Search Seattle championships, which will take place June 18 at the Clearwater Casino. Six will be advanced by judges during the June 11 semifinalist show, while one will be chosen by the public. Individuals can vote for the Pierre Money Mart Viewer’s Choice contest by logging onto www.kirotv. com/starsearch/index.html.

The winner of Star Search Seattle will receive a trophy, a trip for two to the 2005 Grammy Awards, a Tiffany Talent Agency promo pack and a demo recording of an original song written by Seattle songwriter Mycle Wastman. Each champion show contestants also receives two round-trip tickets anywhere Southwest Airlines flies and a makeover from Robert Leonard Salon and Spa.

The Silver City Brewery in Silverdale will be hosting a special showing of the June 11 Star Search Seattle show. After the show has aired, at about 9 p.m., Baker will be on hand to give a live vocal performance.

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