Don’t count out Abby Boland.
After finishing 11th in the semifinals of the Ohio Idol contest over the weekend at the Ohio State Fair, the recent Lakewood High School graduate was eliminated when the top 10 finalists moved on.
Then, one of the finalists dropped out, and Boland found herself back in the competition.
After her rendition of Luke Bryan’s “Drunk on You” on piano, she won first place, stunning the crowd of 700 in Columbus.
Many were surprised.
Everyone but Boland.
“Throughout the competition, I was just viewed as the alternate,” she said. “I don’t think people had any idea that I could come back and win. I had nothing left to lose. I put it all out there.”
Boland, who has been singing since she was 12, turned 18 just days before the competition.
For the next year, she’ll be the face of the Ohio Idol, which awarded her $10,000 for winning. Boland is moving to Columbus this fall, where she’ll record an album.
Along with the finalists from the Ohio Idol competition, Boland will perform at the Cuyahoga County Fair in Berea Aug. 8 as part of a yearlong tour throughout Ohio.
She’s slated to sing the National Anthem when the New York Yankees visit the Cleveland Indians on Aug. 24.
Boland said that after her Ohio Idol contract is up, she’ll be moving to the Big Apple, where she’ll take a shot at the big stage.
“My family has always been really supportive,” Boland said, adding that she was planning to attend Cleveland State University, but instead decided to pursue a career in music.
It looks as if her career got some help on Saturday.
“The fact that I am from little-old-Lakewood and won, I am pretty excited about it,” she said.
Her family, who traveled to see her perform in Columbus, is equally as excited.
"I'm very happy that she if finally getting what she has worked so hard for, for so long," said Helen Boland, Abby's grandmother. "I can hardly wait until she can get her own songs out there. She writes some very interesting and touching music and her lyrics are amazing."