From CHS classrooms to the TV screen

Although Carmel High School is relatively small and not in an especially populous city, there has been a handful of “celebrities” who have graduated from CHS in recent years and gone on to be featured on TV.

Michael Woolery, a 2008 CHS graduate, auditioned for the most recent series of “The Voice,” a singing competition in which talented singers are chosen to be a part of one of four teams. Each team is coached by one of this year’s four coaches: Pharrell Williams, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine or Blake Shelton.

Woolery did not make it on a team, but he did mention exciting contracts that will be signed by the end of this year.

When asked via Instagram how he started singing, Woolery replied, “I had a bit of down time, and I wrote songs all the time for my girlfriend. And my friends from CHS would always ask me to play a few songs at bonfire.”

At first, the entertainment industry did not excite Woolery. He was already familiar with the standards of the industry since most of his family was in it; for example, his father, Chuck Woolery, is a famous game show host.

Michael Woolery

What changed his opinion of this career choice were just a few months in a “dark place” in which Woolery would write songs to help express his emotions, and eventually he realized how much singing made him happy.

Woolery isn’t the only CHS graduate to have been featured on TV: 2004 CHS grad Jamie Lee Darley competed in the 2009 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Model Search and finished in second place.

Another graduate who went onto becoming a model is Jon Jonsson, who competed in the reality TV series “Manhunt,” a competition in which 30 male models compete for a $100,000 prize and a four-year contract with IMG, one of the world’s most prestigious modeling agencies.

Jonsson was born in Iceland and grew up in Carmel, adding to his surfer-boy look. After a couple of highs and lows within the competition, Jonsson won and became one of “America’s Most Gorgeous Male Models.”

Another graduate, who has been also considered gorgeous, is Jesse Kovacs, a contestant on “The Bachelorette.” Just like Darley, Kovacs, a 2000 CHS grad, got far in his TV competition, being one of the top five men left competing for the hand in marriage of Jillian Harris.

Moving away from the singing and modeling industry, classmate Travis Moran graduated from CHS in 2000 as well and was later featured on the short-lived National Geographic TV series, “King of Fishers: Battle for America” in which a group of fishermen traveled throughout America, hosting other fisherman in their favorite fishing lake.

Moran was a bass fisherman who would receive points on his skill of fishing and the overall experience of hospitality.

These “celebrities” graduated from CHS, and who knows, maybe the classmate sitting right next to you might be featured on your favorite TV show next.
-Julia Sudol