BELLAIRE - "The Winner Is" Ohio Valley native Katie Orlofske - the 22-year-old country music singer who used the name "Katie Ohh" on NBC's million-dollar singing competition that concluded Thursday.
Orlofske, who will turn 23 next week, was one of six finalists to compete on "The Winner Is" for the top prize of $1 million. During the first round of competition, Orlofske prevailed by singing "Cry" and passing on the opportunity to walk away with $50,000. In the second round, she again came out on top with her rendition of "You and I." She had the confidence to refrain from claiming $100,000 so she could continue to the final contest.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I was going to be here today," Orlofske said before taking the stage one last time.
Bellaire native Katie Orlofske is the $1 million grand prize winner in the NBC television program “The Winner Is.”
After facing her last competitor and singing "The Climb," Orlofske again passed on the $200,000 that was offered if she would walk away. She captured the top spot by defeating Sharde Blevins by a vote of 57-44, cast by the 101 judges in the audience.
Orlofske debuted during the show's initial NBC appearance on June 11. She defeated Kirbi Jo Long by singing Martina McBride's "Independence Day" before singing Faith Hill's "Breathe" to overwhelmingly beat the Kalama Brothers.
Orlofske's parents are Sherry and Terry Orlofske of Rock Hill Road, Bellaire. A group of about 20 friends gathered at Orlofske's parents' home to watch the show's finale.
The one-hour show aired Thursday on NBC at 9 p.m., with Nick Lachey serving as host. The other four finalists were Amy Showalter, The La-Fontaines, Senior Sounds of Touch and Leah Grace.
Orlofske was born and raised in Powhatan Point and resides in Nashville. She fell in love with music after a performance at a Christmas show when she was 12 years old, and credits her mother with harvesting her singing voice.
Orlofske started singing around the Ohio Valley when she was a teen. After graduating with a nursing degree from Belmont College, she, moved to Los Angeles for a couple of years before eventually relocating to Nashville to continue pursuing her singing career.
After graduating from college and nursing school, Orlofske felt like she had abandoned her passion for singing, so she began writing music after her shifts in the Intensive Care Unit.
As much as she loves being a nurse, Orlofske would be thrilled if her appearance on "The Winner Is" catapulted her into a music career.