09/28/07 — Caseys win Oreo jingle contest

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Caseys win Oreo jingle contest

By Winkie Lee
Published in News on September 28, 2007 2:03 PM

How do you celebrate being named the winner of the national Oreo & Milk Jingle Contest?

For St. Mary School student Samantha Casey, it consisted of shopping at Toys R Us in New York's Times Square, where she and her family also rode the Ferris wheel.

They then stopped for pizza at an Italian restaurant.

The fun followed their live performance Thursday at the studio where "Good Morning America" is aired.

Samantha, 11, and her father, Daniel -- who perform together as Samantha Casey & The Bluegrass Jam -- were one of five finalists in the nationwide contest, and the only ones who used musical instruments. Samantha played the fiddle while her father played guitar.

After they and the other finalists performed, all five acts were brought out near the studio stage to hear who had won.

"One of the judges announced the winner, and he said it was us!" Samantha said, excitement in her voice as she and her family walked down a street in Times Square and gave an interview via cell phone.

That judge was none other than Carson Daly, host of NBC's "Last Call With Carson Daly."

When they heard their name called, "we jumped," she continued. They went on stage "and were handed a giant check."

The grand prize was $10,000.

As the presentation was made, the audience -- including the other contestants -- applauded and cheered, said Samantha's mother, Judy, who watched with son, Adam, 4.

"Everyone was very friendly, very congratulatory," she said. They shouted "Hooray Samantha! All right! You did great!"

Shortly following the sound of applause and cheers was the "snap, snap, snap" of cameras.

"There were photographers everywhere," Judy said.

Interviews were conducted there and at the Fox News station.

The Caseys first entered the annual jingle contest in June. Two months later, they learned they had made it to the top 10.

From that point, the decision of who should continue in the competition was turned over to the public, who watched the videos and voted online.

The top five went to New York to perform live. A panel of judges, including Daly, narrowed the field down to one winner.

The victory is sweet, but very soon the Caseys will be on the road again, focusing on that next performance. They are scheduled to return home today and then travel to the White Oaks Shores Bluegrass Festival where Roby Huffman & The Bluegrass Cutups, of which Daniel is a member, will perform.

Samantha also might play a few tunes.