American Idol XIII Top 31 Contestant #26


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

Brandy Neelly didn’t make it past Hollywood week when she auditioned, impressively, for both American Idol Seasons 11 and Season 12. But the young singer didn’t give up, coming out for American Idol Season XIII. This time she landed a spot in the Top 31.

And it’s about time. This teenaged country singer has some impressive pipes.

Back in season 11, her audition was prominently featured in a promo. But oddly, the full clip wasn’t featured on the show.

Brandy came back the following year, singing in front of a new panel of judges, and still impressed. This time, we saw her Chicago audition, and a heartbreaking backstory with a happy ending. She was adopted by her aunt after her birth parents gave her up to social services. The Louisville, Kentucky native impressed the judges with a belty version of “Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Hank Williams. Four very enthusiastic yesses followed.

Brandy Neelly – Chicago Audition – American… by IdolxMuzic

Sadly, Brandy was cut after a drama filled group round. She was part of Kree Harrison’s Dolly Chicks group that performed “Sin Wagon.” The girl who caused all the drama advanced, while Brandy did not. The singer was gracious, promising as she left the stage, “This is not the last time you’re going to see Brandy Neelly.”

“From this season I have learned,” said Brandy as she departed, “When it’s your time, it will come together.” Indeed.

#WrongLyrics & Dolly Chicks – Group Day… by IdolxMuzic

In her Season 12 Road to Hollywood, interview, Brandy says that winning American Idol has been her dream “forever.”  She describes herself as “the girl next door” but adds “…there’s a lot more to me. “I’m dedicated,” she says, “I’m coming back as many times as it takes me to get on that stage.”  I’m picking up on a theme here. Carrie Underwood is mentioned as  a musical inspiration.

This could be Brandy’s year! Check out her Twitter, Facebook and YouTube Channel. As you can see from the photo above, she’s got a sleek new look this season.

A few performances from her Youtube Channel:

Anymore by Travis Tritt with Michael Powers

She teams up with singer, Michael Powers, on few videos “Love this guy,” says Brandy “Had so much fun with him! We meet a long time ago auditioning for American Idol…”

Holding Out For a Hero by Bonnie Tyler

We Are Never Getting Back Together

Brandy Neelly – American Idol XIII – Detroit Audition

Brandy Neelly – American Idol XIII –

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  • Kariann Hart

    I think Brandy has a good chance getting into the TOP 12 this year. If there is to be a Country girl – she’s the one.

  • XxYogurtxX

    I hope she makes it to top12,shes very charismatic and her voice reminds me of Janelle from last year sometimes

  • Sicola789

    So glad she is back this year! I thought she was majorly robbed last year. It’s a joke that someone like Zoanette got in over her.

    Anyway I think she is the only country girl this year(I could be wrong though) so she has an advantage there. Great voice, likable personality, southern, repeat- I think she can go deep in the competition. Maybe she can pull a Candice?

    This is also her 4th time auditioning. She auditioned first in S10 when she was just 15 and not quite ready yet(the producers had their eye on Lauren instead). I believe she was cut in the rooms and the last two seasons was cut during groups. Glad she never gave up!

  • Darko_5

    She has a nice natural stage presence and a likable personalilty. Her voice is a little stronger then Janelle’s interested to see her perform.

  • Incipit

    “Anyway I think she is the only country girl this year..”

    Now I’m curious, it almost felt to me like every few contestants there was a country singer – but maybe they were all guys, IDK. Have to check mj’s list. Maybe it’s all the Americana and slow paced acoustic stuff mixed in with country that makes it seem that way. Not much to pick from, for me.

    Anyway, If that’s what she wants, good fortune to her – can’t read Windmill’s posts and hold out much hope for a female in the genre right now.

    Country fans will have to weigh in on her style and her chances, I’m not in her target market.

  • Amy Beth

    Her haircut and style choices make her seem way older than 19, almost matronly.

  • wordnerdarchie

    Lauren Alaina gave off that same impression – of being so much older than she actually was. What is it with these girls from the South that makes them look old? Over bleached? Over done make-up? What?

  • Ria.

    Yes. Over bleached and over done make-up.

  • Kariann Hart

    I did not like the flirting that Lauren did with Steven. I just could never warm up to her and wished she hadn’t been in the final two.

  • Kariann Hart

    The thing with Janelle was her bubbly personality. Let’s se how Brandy relates to the audience.

  • Sue tiedemann

    This is the first audition that I really liked! Brandy sounds great to me!

  • Shannon Hayden

    she came off as white trash slut to me.i’m 2 times her age and my face don’t look as old as her’s

  • Sicola789

    I just double checked, and she is the only country female this year. There seem to be quite a few country males though.

  • Incipit

    Hey, thanks for checking, Sicola789. That may work in her favor for the show – but the marketplace doesn’t seem to be interested, so much.

    Even the Country Males seem to be Very Young People – and I wouldn’t be sanguine about their market chances either.

    For me, it’s just another group of contestants I can pay no mind to – not my cuppa, any of them.

  • Damien Roberts

    A lot of pop females this year, so I’m predicting just because of diversity Brandy makes top 12.

  • JustJam

    So there are some returning contestants this year after all.

  • FunMom4

    I can’t wait to see Brandy perform. I have seen her live before and her voice just blows you away. She really is a natural talent and I know she’ll go very far. I love her new look..cute country yet sophisticated. She has it all..even an interesting backstory. I am so excited to watch her on the Idol stage!! America is going to fall in love with her.

  • Kamary Bradan

    I hope the spoilers are true and Brandy finally makes it. She was robbed last season.

  • Samantha Jones Decker

    Brandy I am glad you went back! You look and sound amazing! Good luck babe! Love you.