Taking cues from her favorite songwriters -- including Melissa Etheridge, Janis Joplin, and Sista Otis -- Crystal Bowersox brought a relaxed, folksy vibe to the ninth season of American Idol. Although she auditioned for the show in Chicago, Bowersox grew up five hours east in Elliston, Ohio, a small town with fewer than 100 residents. She began writing songs as a ten-year-old and, by her early teens, had formed a band with her brothers. Dubbed “Oldinuph” -- a name that poked fun at their own adolescence -- the siblings played shows throughout Ottawa County for several years, with Bowersox writing most of their original material. She eventually moved to Chicago at the age of 17, looking to pursue her career in a bigger city.