OLATHE, Kan. -- The new season of the hit FOX TV talent show The X Factor just launched two weeks ago on Fox 4 and Season 12 of American Idol begins in January to find the next great singing stars. Kansas City has a captivating version of those shows -- KC SuperStar -- to discover the best high school aged singers in the region. And the champion for 2012 is this week's Fox 4 Reaching 4 Excellence Young Achiever. As the confetti rained down on him on the stage at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan., and the crowd rose to its feet in a long ovation, Erick Patrick says he couldn't quite grasp what was happening to him.
"Total disbelief," says Erick, this week's Fox 4 Young Achiever. "Shock. I had no idea. I just didn't know what to think." The high school junior had just won the title of KC SuperStar for 2012 and the grand prize, a $7,500 college scholarship that came with it. With series of sensational performances, Erick had topped nearly 200 of the Kansas City region's best high school aged singers in the American Idol-style event that began with auditions in April and wrapped up with the finals in early September.
"I'd never done anything like it," says Erick. "I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do something that big." As great as his singing and performing skills are it just may have been Erick's personality and poise that sold the KC SuperStar judges and audience on him. Erick had a sparkling finals night interview, exchanging quick and funny banter MC J. Kent Barnhart.
"He's not thrown by anything," says Olathe South High School Theater Director David Hastings who encouraged Erick to enter KC SuperStar and watched him in the finals. "He's just completely at ease on stage. He's a joy to watch because he seems to just love what he's doing. And he relates to other people around him on stage." Erick says the performing bug first bit him in seventh grade and it bit him hard. And he's been focused on musical theater and acting ever since. And success came very quickly for him. As he auditioned recently for Olathe South High School's big fall musical, 13, everyone at the school naturally expected Erick to get the lead -- and he did. It's been happening that way since he was a freshman two years ago in both major musicals and dramatic productions and smaller theater shows.
"Acting is first and foremost," says Erick. "So I'm an actor first and a singer but I have a goal to be on Broadway one day and I'll have to use all my talents, dancing, acting and singing." His theater director at Olathe South says Erick reminds him of a young Ben Vereen, the great multi-talented star of stage, screen and TV.
"He has this smile," says David Hastings. "He has this charisma on stage. And he can play any kind of part. Just a super personality and a great person."
Erick will perform in the musical 13 at Olathe South High School November 15th through the 17th.
The runners-up to Erick in this year's KC SuperStar competition were Samantha Smith of Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, KS and Jessica Early, a student at Frontier School of Excellence charter school in Kansas City, MO.
KC SuperStar is a production of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.
Fox 4 News is Working 4 You to spotlight outstanding young people and their positive accomplishments. In our weekly report called Reaching 4 Excellence we meet young achievers in subjects like academics, the arts, leadership, community service, volunteerism, career exploration, overcoming obstacles and heroism. Watch for Reaching 4 Excellence every Monday on Fox 4 News at 8 a.m., every Wednesday on Fox 4 News at 9 p.m. and every Thursday on Fox 4 News at 5 p.m.