// photo by Joel Wilbur
Former Jacksonville resident Sharon Wilbur first found fame on American Idol, where she (along with her dog, Sasha) charmed the judges enough to score a ticket to Hollywood on Season 8. After a short stint on the show, she came back to Jax, where she worked as the “Face of FOX30,” interviewing local newsmakers and covering events. In 2014, she moved to LA to pursue an entertainment career full-time. Now a style correspondent on Extra (she goes by Shae now), it’s safe to say the gamble paid off.
What have you been up to since Idol? My Extra segment [Extra Hot Deals] airs a few times a week. I also do freelance—pre-coverage for awards shows, stuff like that. I’m also a pop culture contributor on HLN’s The Daily Share.
Worst celebrity interview: I won’t name names, but there was a musician who had come up on one of the reality shows. I was a fan so I was excited to interview her. She was so rude to me, it was kind of shocking. Not only did she not answer my questions, but she was almost making little jabs toward me. Needless to say, I took all of her music off my phone after that.
Best L.A. moment: I was shopping with a friend at Zara and I tried on a blazer. A woman comes out of the fitting room next to me and says, “That is so amazing, you have to get it.” Of course, I had just promised my husband that I wasn't spending money. So the woman says, “No, give me your phone, we’ll send a photo to your husband.” So we did, but I was still hesitant. As she’s leaving, she grabs the jacket and says, “I’m buying this for you.” On her way out, she hands it to me, shakes my hand and says, “By the way, I’m Amy.” It was Amy Adams.
Dream celebrity sighting: I am a sucker for obscure reality shows—Married at First Sight, Breaking Amish, 90 Day Fiancé. In L.A., we see celebrities all the time and it’s not a big deal. But you better believe that if I saw someone from 90 Day Fiancé I would take a selfie.
What’s next? I’m hoping to release a five-song EP this year. And it’s bittersweet but I’ll be covering the final season of American Idol. I feel proud that I got to be a part of cultural history, in a sense.
How often do you get recognized? I get recognized the most in Jacksonville. In California, there are so many people that are way more recognizable. Of course, at Zara, now I’m recognized as “that girl who Amy Adams bought a jacket for.”
Family: Husband Joel and shih tzu Sasha
Fun Fact: When I was 12, I got Mario Lopez’s autograph at a Philadelphia car show. Now I work with him.
Fave place in Jax: Aroma Corner. Best bubble tea on the planet.