Soldotna, there's a rising star in your midst or at least a woman who bears a striking resemblance to one.
Kelly Keating-Griebel admits she has a weakness for reality TV shows. Her favorite is Fox's "American Idol," where pop singer wannabes perform in front of cameras and a critical and sometimes downright cruel panel of judges in hopes of being selected for a recording contract.
Keating-Griebel faithfully watched the show's first and second seasons. This season, she has even more reason to be a devout viewer, since her "spitting image" is on the show.
Amy Adams, a 24-year-old from Bakersfield, Calif., and one of 10 finalists on the weekly TV show, shares more than just a love of singing with Keating-Griebel they also have similar body structures, facial features and even hairstyles.
"But mine's not pink," Keating-Griebel points out.
Despite the difference in coiffure color Keating-Griebel's hair is brown and the 11-year age difference, the two do bear a striking resemblance to each other.
"Since the first time I caught a glimpse of Amy, I thought we had many similarities, but I thought it was just me," Keating-Griebel said.
As it turns out, Keating-Griebel wasn't the only one who thought so.
"We got a call from my husband's friend, Hawk, that night saying that he 'saw Kelly' on 'American Idol,'" Keating-Griebel said.
In the past few months, Keating-Griebel's friends, family members, co-workers at Freedom Realty in Soldotna and clients have called and e-mailed her to comment on how much she and Adams look alike.
She's even been stopped by complete strangers.
"Basically the first line is, 'Have you seen American Idol? You look just like that girl!'" she said of those conversations.
Keating-Griebel's husband, Scott, comments on the uncanny similarity when they watch the show together. In general, Keating-Griebel's family has been the most worked up about her newly discovered twin.
"My family is a little over the top about it," Keating-Griebel said. "My mom lives in Washington and doesn't get to see me very often. Says she has to watch 'American Idol' to get her Kelly fix."
On Wednesday, Keating-Griebel's mom, Susie Brown of Olympia, Wash., called the "American Idol" headquarters to tell the show's producers that her daughter in Alaska is the spitting image of Amy Adams. Next thing Keating-Griebel knew, an editor at the Bakersfield Californian newspaper in Adams' hometown called her to ask about the similarity.
Though having your mother call a TV show about you can be a tad embarrassing, Keating-Griebel is taking the notoriety in good spirits.
"Right now, I don't know if I should thank my mom for this attention or block her e-mails," Keating-Griebel joked.
On the bright side, there's certainly worse celebrities to be compared to than the funky, vivacious Adams.
"I like her," Keating-Griebel said. "She's like the younger, crazier version of me. I used to be like that, just kind of wild. I like her attitude it's kind of crazy."
Keating-Griebel achieved some local accolades for her singing talents after winning a karaoke contest at the Duck Inn in 2001. Though the prize was only $100, which barely covered her and her friends' bar tab, the contest was broadcast on the radio so Keating-Griebel's daughter, Hayley, and her friends got to listen in, she said.
Country music, 1970s and '80s chick rock and some singles from No Doubt, Blondie, Carly Simon and Gloria Gaynor top Keating-Griebel's list of songs she loves to sing, although, "If I've had a few drinks, I just might sing anything," she said.
"I have been accused of being a 'mic hog' from time to time."
According to Adams' bio on the "American Idol" Web site, her favorite type of music is classics from any era, and her favorite song to sing is "You Don't Know Me." She lists John Mayer and Norah Jones as her favorite pop artists and says Madonna is her American idol, because she is "someone who is not afraid to be who she is."
Keating-Griebel's notoriety as a star look-alike inadvertent as it is likely will last only as long Adams continues to make the weekly cut on "American Idol." She said Adams' performance of "Sin Wagon" on Tuesday's show was the best she's heard her sing yet, but she doubts she'll be the overall winner.
Even if Adams is voted the best performer of the season and awarded a recording contract, it wouldn't inspire Keating-Griebel to give up her life in Soldotna and take a shot at singing stardom.
"I guess I should keep my day job, since I'm probably over the age limit for 'American Idol,'" she said.
Singing karaoke with her friends and her daughter will suffice for her.
"Amy has more talent, of course," Keating-Griebel said. "I just do it because I love it."
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