Last week the AI judges (Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson) narrowed the field of competitors for this year’s available recording contract. Since we’ve already met the final twelve men in contention, let’s turn our attention to the ladies.
Ayla Brown (of Wrentham, MA) is a classic overachiever. She has set her sights on both music and sports, so really it comes as no surprise to find that she isn’t quite sure what ranks higher — landing in the AI Top 24 or attending Boston College on a basketball scholarship. The 17-year old follows in her parents’ footsteps as her mom is a local television personality while dad is a politician.
Twenty-two year old Heather Cox hails from Jonesville, North Carolina, and claims to have begun singing as a toddler. She, like Brown, is also an athlete. She loves track and field but wishes that she could compete for Olympic Gold as a gymnast. Becky O’Donohue is another finalist that has been singing since she learned to speak. The 25-year old Dobbs Ferry, NY, native also excelled at basketball in her college days. Seems to be an athletic trend amongst the ladies this year. O’Donohue’s musical influences and interests range from Pat Benetar to Scottish music, with lots of variation in between.
Brenna Gethers (25, from Mt. Vernon, NY) has “diva” written all over her. She has clashed with everyone up to and including the judges. Her ego and attitude have made her difficult, but Gethers IS talented. She is also quite serious about her desire to grow and take criticism from those who can help to better her skills. Kellie Pickler is the polar opposite of Gethers when it comes to demeanor. This 19-year-old from Albemarle, NC, has had a difficult life and making it this far in the competition has been a shock to her. This small girl packs a vocal wallop but does it with a sense of humility that I’ve never seen on this show before. I think even if she isn’t your favorite, you cannot help but want to see her do well. Katharine McPhee (age 21) hails from Los Angeles and has an amazing voice. She cites her influences as R&B artists and it does show in her performances already. I have to admit, I have a soft spot for anyone who admits to owning a Cirque Du Soleil album.
Paris Bennett (17 and hailing from Fayetteville, GA) comes from a family steeped in musicality. When she says that she has been singing since age four, what she means is that she has been singing publicly since four and doing it well. The bilingual Spongebob fan has to be considered a serious contender this year. Twenty-one year-old Melissa McGhee (Tampa, FL) has been singing and performing since the age of four as well. While a life onstage is certainly in her blood, she is also toying with the possibility of studying elementary music education in the near future. Twenty-nine year old Mandisa already has a career in music and she hopes that AI will help to further her ambition. Viewers will recognize the powerful-voiced Mandisa as the woman Simon insulted (the crack was regarding her size) earlier in the auditions. She came back and kindly confronted him in a way that humbled him — if only for a moment.
Kinnik Sky (28, from Duluth, GA) sites Toni Braxton as her favorite female artist and that really wasn’t a surprise. When I first heard her audition, that is exactly who she reminded me of. Singing isn’t her only talent; Kinnik also has a way with words. When asked her definition of an American Idol she replied, “One who has a servant spirit and desires to be a strong example to others.” At 19, little Stevie Scott has the most eclectic style. She has had serious classical training but also loves rock. The Fair Oaks, CA, local trains in ballet, writes, and plays piano. Also hailing from California (Anaheim) is 16-year old Lisa Tucker. She also brings with her a host of talents. In her spare time she writes, plays piano and guitar, and is learning the drums.
There they are, the top twelve ladies in this year’s AI. Be sure to tune in on Tuesday to see them compete against each other for the first time. The men will be up on Wednesday with voting on both nights. The very first results show will be on Thursday. Settle in, because you know that the best is yet to come![ADBLOCKHERE]Powered by Sidelines