Your Top 12 Girls

Here’s a run-down of the Top 12 Girls.   The Top 12 guys are coming up tomorrow.


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Paris Bennett, 17, Fayetteville, GA.  Aud–Greensboro.

Paris is the Granddaughter of Ann Nesby who was the lead singer for the grammy award winning  Sounds of Blackness.   A tiny girl with a mighty voice, Paris  is only 17 years old, but she sings  like an old soul.    Paris blew the judges away when she performed “Cowboy Take Me Away” by the Dixie Chicks and “Take Five” by Billie Holliday for her audition.   She chose two songs from completely different genres and managed to nail them both.   The early buzz seems to be all about Paris.   Darling  


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Ayla Brown, 17, Wrentham, MA.   Aud–Boston.

Dubbed the All-American girl by Idol producers, Ayla is a star basketball player at the private high school she attends and has a full scholarship to  play at  Boston College this fall.   She sang “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”  for her audition.   Her mom is Gail Huff, reporter for Boston’s WCVB-TV and her dad is  MA state Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham.   Her biggest challange is to overcome her image as  the privileged girl who never  seems to break a sweat, allowing  the average viewer  to identify with her. So far, Simon has dubbed her “robotic.”   Ayla Brown Online


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Heather Cox, 22, Jonesville, NC.   Aud–Denver.

We haven’t seen much of Heather since her audition in Denver where she performed Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up.” Word is she had laryngitis all through the Hollywood rounds, which is probably why we didn’t hear or see much of her.   Heather grew up singing in her father’s church, where he’s the pastor.   He sang tenor for the Blackwood Brothers, a legendary gospel group.     Heather Online  



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Brenna Gethers, 25, Mt. Vernon, NY.  Aud–Boston.

Brenna has a degree in sociology from Brandies University and a  black belt in Shotokan karate.   Cast in this series as the girl-you-love-to-hate, or maybe just the girl you plain hate, Brenna’s vocal skills (what little we’ve heard) appear to be secondary to her ability to bring drama and conflict to the show.   And at least she knows it, as she said to Simon when she heard she made the cut “Let’s go, lets do it, let’s make good TV.”    Bling, bling and shine on, girl.   I couldn’t find a fan site for her!


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Mandisa, 29,   Antioch, TN.   Aud–Chicago.

Mandisa is a gospel singer and worship leader.   She performed with the Fisk University Jubilee singers while she was a student there and has performed with Shania Twain, Trisha Yearwood, Take 6, Larnelle Harris and others. She performed Alicia Keys “Falling” for her audition and got three enthusiastic yes votes  from the judges.   Simon made a crack about her weight after she left the room, but they kissed and made up when Mandisa made the final cut.   Mandisa Forum



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Kinnik Sky, 28, Duluth, GA.   Aud–Greensboro.

Viewers were introduced to Kinnik during the Hollywood group rounds where she performed with Tyra Schwartz, Celeste Scalone and Nicole Turk for the judges.   Kinnik has been singing since the age of four and has worked as a professional actress at various theaters.   Her challange now is to overcome the serious lack of screen time she’s had so far. Kinnik_Yahoo group



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Melissa McGhee, 21, Tampa, FL.   Aud–Denver.

Melissa has been singing since she was four years old.   She also loves to dance and  loves working  with children.   She’s had virtually no screen time since the season began.   Viewers will hear Melissa perform for the first time when the semi-final rounds begin this week. She needs to perform  memorably in order to stay in the game.



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Katharine McPhee, 21, Sherman Oaks, CA. Aud-San Francisco.

Katharine performed “God Bless the Child” for her audition.   Randy was blown away, but Simon was not completely sold, (“parts of that song were very good, ” he said) but still impressed.   Her mom, Peisha is a singer and vocal coach.   Katharine has performed in a few local LA theater productions.  She attended  Boston Conservatory for one semester  majoring in musical theater.



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Becky O’Donohue, 25, Dobbs Ferry, NY. Aud–Boston.

Becky  auditioned with  “Black Velvet” with her twin sister, Jessie, beside her for morale support.   Simon said she was “very commercial.”  Both she and her sister  have modeled and have acting credits.   The twins were featured in a twins-themed episode of Fear Factor.   Becky, 5’11, also played basketball at Niagara University.    She  will have to prove in the coming weeks that she’s more than just a pretty face.  Becky Yahoo group



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Kellie Pickler, 19, Albemarle, NC. Aud–Greensboro.

Kellie has a compelling back-story that’s been featured prominently on the show.  She was raised by her grandparents after her mom left.   Her  dad, a drug addict, has been in and out of prison.  She  competed in “Gimme the Mike–Charlotte” and in some local and state pageants. She sang “Since U  Been  Gone” and “Broken Wing” for the judges.   Simon said she over-sang the songs, but all three judges sent her  on to the next  round.  She has a vocal style very similar to last year’s winner Carrie Underwood.  Kellie Pickler Online  Kellie  Kellie


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Stevie Scott, 19, Fair Oaks, CA. Aud–Denver.

Like Kinnik, we caught our first glimpse of Stevie during the Hollywood group round.  She sings  opera as well as rock and R&B.  She plays guitar and piano. Currently, Stevie is a freshman studying music at Cal State Univ-Sacramento.       Also a victim of a serious lack of screen time, Stevie  is another contestant who needs to  make a big impression  the first time out to stay in the competition.   Stevie Scott Online



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Lisa Tucker, 16, Anaheim, CA. Aud–Denver.

Lisa  was the original “Young Nala” in Disney’s LA production of “The Lion King.”   At 13, she competed in the Star Search Junior Division. She  also was a two-time winner on Ed McMahon TV show, “Next Big Star.”  For her audition, she sang Whitney Huston’s “One Moment in Time, ” in a clear, beautifully controlled voice that  Simon said was …the best 16 year old weve ever had throughout this whole competition.   Lisa’s experience and poise  could help  ensure she sticks around for awhile.   Lisa