Olivia Rox is in a place most young performers only dream about. She’s among the top 10 finalists on American Idol, The Farewell Season. “It’s really surreal,” she said in a phone interview with CV Happening. “There’s no other word to explain the position I’m in, being only 17.”
The Agoura Hills teen has continued to wow the celebrity judges since her first piano rendition of Bruno Mars’ “When I was Your Man.”
A fan of Fox’s groundbreaking talent competition show since its first season, Rox recalled telling her parents, on more than one occasion, “I’m going to be on that show.”
With no formal training, Rox credits her vocal skills to life experience. Born in Boulder, Colorado to successful musicians, Tamara Van Cleef and Warren Hill, Rox spent a lot of time traveling and performing with her parents.
According to her online bio:
“Olivia was naturally drawn to music and acting without any encouragement from [her parents]. It all began one day at the age of 2, while backstage at her Dad’s concert at the Chicago Theater, when Olivia begged to join her Dad on stage to sing a song …After receiving her first standing ovation, she was hooked!”
Rox said she’s influenced by a wide range of performers, from Bruno Mars to Billy Holiday, and has a particular affinity for Gospel music, having been exposed to it from a very early age. “I was in a Gospel choir in Colorado,” she said.
Is she concerned about the critiques she receives on the show? “I’m a pretty open person,” she said. “I don’t feel bad when I hear these things … I want to get better.”
Rox and her family moved to Agoura Hills when she was 10 years old but still spends time in Colorado. “The great thing is I feel I have strong connections to both places. It’s a good juxtaposition,” she said.
Not surprisingly, her parents are very proud. “Amazing,” Hill said of his daughter’s accomplishment. “But a lot of work.”
Rox said she’s had a great deal of support, not only from family and friends, but from the Conejo Valley community. “People are making signs to support me. It’s incredible” she said.
Listing her favorite local people and places, Rox said, “Shout out to Anarbagh, Jinky’s … Trader Joe’s, my friends and neighbors. I love you guys.”
On Thursday’s show, Rox’s fate will be decided by the viewing audience. “I’m a little scared …I have my fingers crossed,” she said.
And though she can’t tell us what song she’ll be performing, she promised, “Olivia Rox is gonna rock!”