American Idol XIII Top 31 Contestant #14

Jillian sings “Not Over You” by Gavin Degraw at the Boston Auditions

I’ll be posting several American Idol Top 31 contestants previews every day in the run up to the American Idol XIII premiere on January 15.

Click for the FULL list of the American Idol XIII Top 31

Those of you who watched the second season of X Factor probably remember Jillian Jensen. She was the Providence, Rhode Island auditioner who cried through a performance of Jesse J’s “Who You Are” after revealing she’d been bullied and then cried some more when she was cut by Demi Lovato at the Judges Houses.

Who You Are – X Factor Audition

Demi Lovato Cuts Jillian at the Judges Houses

Jillian probably thought her singing competition career was over when she was cut before the live X Factor shows. Not so fast. She auditioned for Idol in Boston this summer and is now part of the Top 31 with a shot to perform live on American Idol.

Check out Jillian on Twitter and Facebook

Fun Fact: At one time, Jillian dated the brother of American Idol season 11 alum, Erika Van Pelt!

On Jillian’s Youtube page, she’s uploaded covers of songs by Ed Sheeran, Javier Colon and Bruno Mars, in addition to original songs.

The King to Wear My Crown

An original song recorded live at the Middle East in Cambridge, Massachusetts

I’ll Be Here

Another original song, also from the Middle East gig.

This One’s For You

Jillian notes on the video that she wrote this particular song in high school.


Road to Hollywood

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  • Incipit

    She had a reasonably good voice – nothing stands out for me about the vocals or the delivery – I just remember all those damn ‘tears’.

    If she gets through to the voting rounds, I’m willing to give her another hearing on the premise that she grew up a little, worked on her craft in the intervening time, and also got her tear ducts under control – and recognizes that she was not presenting the most appealing side of her persona before.

    She starts with the constant waterworks again – I’m gone.


  • Quaribea

    Took me one line of song to know that she has a nice, but hardly unique or outstanding voice.

    She would need to show me her strength first, before I would tolerate the crying. There is nothing wrong with showing emotion, so long as it is a demonstration that you are willing to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. When it shows you have no control, or that you are fragile, that’s a big “Nope” from me.

  • No Thanks

    Yeah, I was about to say the same thing – the moment she starts blubbering and goes in on the “woe is me” stories, she’s dead to me.

    I hope she channels her emotions into her performances instead.

  • Incipit

    “I hope she channels her emotions into her performances instead.”

    Yes. That would show me something – if she were to prove a mature enough performer to leave it all on the stage.

    We’ll see – Idol PTB was addicted to sob stories, and if they still are, that’s hard for the inexperienced to resist. I hope she feels as if she has something to prove, this time out.

  • helo23

    I am probably one of the few people that is in the middle with Jillian. I think the only reason why she seems to have some “hate” was because she went on and on about being bullied. And like I say about another contestant this season, being bullied isn’t a sob story, to me, anyways. Everyone has been bullied at some point in their life. It can make you relatable, but no one really wants to hear it ad nauseum. It’s a debbie downer and feels like you are just using your SS for pity votes, etc. Like Danny Gokey and his dead wife. I wish her good luck. She seems to have some potential and gotten better since than XF. Is she the biggest plant American Idol ever had?

    Jillian looks kinda like a cross between Gina Glocksen and Carly Smithson in that pic above.

    ETA: I will be surprised if she doens’t make the finals. Her fanbase is massive.

  • helo23

    Didn’t someone have a dead grandmother one year? And used that? Hasn’t everyone had a dead grandparent? How is that considered a sob story?

    The most ridiculous sob story is someone that couldn’t drive. I’m not sure where I heard that sob story, but I believe it was true LOL Maybe an XF UK or something. The Voice?

  • Incipit

    You are probably right, helo23. I try to ignore those and I missed the ‘couldn’t drive’ story – but the producers of those shows are essentially shameless – they will try to use anything for a bit of momentary buzz for the show. It’s not for the contestants.

    The contestants who realize it does them no long term good to let the show use a sob story don’t play along…but they are few, I’m thinking.


  • Amy Beth

    Maybe I’m misremembering, but wasn’t part of the reason Jillian’s bullying story bothered some people was because it was a humblebrag? Didn’t she claim to have been bullied and ostracized because she won singing contests and beauty pageants?

  • Dewayne Boyd

    Jillian was on Season 2 of X Factor. Demi wasn’t even on Season 1.

  • helo23

    IMO, I think TPTB ask the contestants something about themselves, and if they have a sob story they will definitely use it. Lee Dewyze had something horrific happen in his family, I recall reading about it in a tabloid magazine. His uncle killed his aunt. And Elliot Yamin never chose to tell TPTB about his mother being sick. I think it’s very tacky and gross when the contestant chooses to go along with it

  • czt

    I can’t bear to listen to her weep and wail again.

  • Incipit

    There’s a Yahoo interview about it from September 14, 2012. HERE.

    Jillian lists two reasons for being bullied, and really, It’s all in the ‘HumbleBrag’ vein – but still, all I remember is the excessive crying. She seemed strung much too tightly then. Perhaps there is perspective now, since her world did not actually end with the dismissal from XFactor.

    Waiting to see.

  • vd88

    She seems have to rabid fanbase online which means she won’t win but she’ll get pretty far.

  • Elf

    I remember her. I remember wandering what Demi was thinking when she cut her. She was the same season as Cece, who I couldn’t stand but Demi was obsessed with. I hope she does well

  • Jason Gorny

    Go Jillian! I really hope she shines and prove the naysayers wrong. I’m glad she was given another chance to try at her dream of being in the music industry and even if she doesn’t win, she’ll still be closer to her goal.

  • thedeviledadvocate

    If Harry gives Jillian a critique anywhere near what Randy gave to Haley after she sang the MJ song, Jillian would likely have a complete meltdown onstage.

    Like others have already said, I am willing to give her a chance, because she can sing well, but if she turns on the waterworks, I will turn off the television (or at the very least fast forward till the crying jag is over).

  • Karen C

    I’m glad Jillian is going to be on Idol. I liked her on X Factor, and sorry she was cut then, but at the time thought she would be more suited for Idol because of the singer songwriter vibe. I do hope she doesn’t rely too much on her backstory, and more on her music.

  • justanotherposter

    If you know anything about these singing competitions, they like to over emphasis on someone’s story just to make a good show..

  • justanotherposter

    Maybe you should check out her other videos? The girl definitely puts her all into her songs/singing.