Here’s your handy guide to the Top 12 Girls, complete with pictures and bios. Play along as you watch tonight.
Alaina is currently pursuing a career in music in West Hollywood, CA. Her favorite artists are the Beatles and Mariah Carey. Alaina auditioned in Los Angeles where Simon took a shine to her. She’s only 24, but felt that she had come to the end of the road in show business, and Idol was her last shot. Vocally, she may be the weakest of the bunch. Her final Hollywood audition “Without You” was not very good. Alaina seems to have been cast as eye candy/cannon fodder. Historically, viewers do not advance a contestant merely on good looks. So, I don’t see Alaina making it to the Top 12 unless her vocals improve drastically when she hits the Idol stage.
Amy attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City where she studied musical theater. She tried out for American Idol two years ago. Amy is fluent in German–she lived there for 3 years. Her favorite artists are Gavin DeGraw, John Legend, Christina Aguilera and Corrine Bailey Rae. Amy is one of the invisible ones. The viewers were introduced to her during the Top 24 where we heard a little snippet of her singing. Methinks Amy is cannon fodder, unless she manages to really step it up in the semis.
Antonella plays violin and piano. She is studying architecture at Catholic University in Washington, DC. She toured with the Monmouth Conservatory of Music in England. Antonella auditioned in New York City with her best friend Amanda Coluccio. Amanda was cut in the rooms while Antonella was advanced to the Top 40. She’s already amassed a fan base who call themselves the Fantonellas. Antonella has the largest message folder over at the AI official boards right now. Barring a complete meltdown during the semis, she’s got a very good chance of making the Top 12–despite having vocals that are pleasant, but not wow material.
Gina plays flute and piano and was a member of an all-girl group Catfight in Chicago. She currently works as a dental assistant. Gina auditioned last year and was featured prominently during auditions and the Hollywood Round. She was cut in the rooms on Day 4. Gina, along with Nick Pedro is one of the “come back kids”. She has the advantage of being a favorite last year many felt was cut too soon. She’s got a built-in fan base going into the competition. However, Gina’s got more gumption and confidence than vocal prowess and it remains to be seen how she does once she hits the big Idol stage.
Haley has been working as a free lance singer since she was 15 years old. Her favorite artists are Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and Christina Aguilera. When Haley auditioned in San Antonio, both Simon and Randy found her boring, but put her through anyway. Her initial audition of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” was pretty–her vocals nicely modulated. But, I can’t help but think she was advanced to be eye candy/cannon fodder. Haley could be an early casualty.
Jordin won the Arizona Idol contest. Her favorite artists are Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and John Mayer. Her dad is former NFL football player Felipe Sparks. Jordin left Sandra Day O’Connor high school last year to be home-schooled–enabling her to concentrate on her singing. Her audition of “Just Because You Loved Me” revealed a Kat McPhee-like tendency to lose it on the high notes. Jordin is one more undeveloped teenager who will probably stumble at some point. It’s just a matter of when.
Lakisha is a gospel singer formally trained in classical music. She works as a bank teller back home, and has a young child that became an important part of her backstory during the audition rounds. Her favorite pop artist is Kelly Clarkson–favorite gospel singer, Yolanda Adams. Lakisha tried out for Idol initially in 2003. She sang …Think by Aretha Franklin for her initial audition. Simon called her an …old fashioned belter. Indeed, Lakisha has the potential to be this season big voiced diva. She has a huge voice and then some, and is a very good bet to make the Top 12.
Leslie plays the piano. She’s a dog walker and is studying to become a dog trainer. Her favorite artists are Beck, White Stripes, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. She’s a member of the band Mark Twang. Click on their MySpace link above to check out some of her original music. She is a talented acoustic/folk singer who comes from a family of artists and singers. She also suffers from lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease whose symptoms make it painful to play piano at times. Unfortunately, this talented artist has had very little screen time on the show so far. Here’s hoping she pulls a Bo Bice/Elliott Yamin and knocks it out of the park her first performance. I’d love to see this unique singer make it to the Top 12.
Melinda has a bachelors degree in commercial music. She’s worked as a background singer for Aaron Neville, CeCe Winans, and George Huff. Her favorite artists are Stevie Wonder, Jonny Lang, Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight. During her initial audition, she was shy and unconfident, but once she opened her mouth to sing, there was no doubt the girl has talent. She’s a very good bet to make the Top 12, and has the potential to be this season’s “diamond in the rough.”
Nicole is a vocal major at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She plays piano and guitar. Her favorite artists are Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys. She is an avid hip-hop dancer and teaches it on the side. Nicole has had virtually no screen time, although there was a glimpse of her singing “This is it” for her final Hollywood audition. She’s going to have to hit one out of the park in the semi’s in order to stay in the game.
Sabrina attended the Northwest University music and theater program. She performed across the country with the touring production of Hairspray. Her favorite artists are Mariah Carey, Whitney Huston and Stevie Wonder. She’s another contestant whose had very little screen time, although her final audition, “Some Kind of Wonderful” was impressive. Again, she’ll have to have some outstanding performances in the semis in order to advance to the Top 12.
Stephanie sang at the famed Apollo Theater and appeared on Its Showtime at the Apollo. She’s won every singing contest she’s ever entered. Her favorite artists are Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys. She’s another of the unpimped contestants. Unlike her female R&B counterparts Melinda Doolittle and Lakisha Jones who have had tons of screen time, Stephanie will have a hard time separating herself from the pack.