Wendy Slicer is an Oneonta resident who has overcome multiple physical obstacles to reach the Ultimate Idol finals this year.

She used to sing non-stop as a child and even claims to have had lessons from Pat Carey, Mariah Carey's mother.

"No kidding," Slicer said. "I knew Mariah when she was a kid."

Slicer grew up listening to the music of her mother's generation, often singing along.

"What a couple of hams," Slicer said. "My most important (musical influence) is my mom and all of the great stuff she exposed me to as a kid. We used to sing together all the time."

But allergies, asthma and laryngitis soon made singing and performing difficult and forced Slicer to take an extended break. She returned to the stage just three years ago.

Now the biggest obstacle, like many of her competitors, is overcoming her nerves.

"They get the best of me when I do karaoke like this," she said. "I'm working on it."

Five Star Subaru Presents Ultimate Idol and advancing to the final round has been an exciting journey for Slicer, who is not one to necessarily welcome the praise and adulation. Her favorite memory of idol has nothing to do with her own performances.

It was seeing a regular competitor, who battles disabilities, but manages to get on stage year after year, sing for Oneonta.

"Getting Will (Sutton) on stage and hearing the audience go wild," she said. "Will deserved that more than anyone I know."

Should Slicer take the grand prize of $2,000 and a chance to sing the Five Star Subaru jingle in an upcoming commercial, she doesn't hesitate telling her plans.

"That's easy -- share it with my kids," she said. "I love my kids. They are the real prize."

Check out the performances that got her this far: