Sunday, September 25, 2011

#101 Melissa McGhee

Next on my American Idol finalist countdown is at number 101 in my preference: Melissa McGhee from American Idol season 5, who got 12th place.  Her music genre is pop country. Her favorite female artist is American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Her favorite male artist is Jason Mraz. Aside from singing, her other talent is dancing. She stole a spot in the top 12 from Ayla Brown.

Melissa Christine McGhee was born in Tampa, Florida, on September 14, 1984. She began to sing at the age of four. Both of her parents have a long rap sheet. Her father was arrested thirty times, and her mother was arrested twenty times. McGhee is the oldest of four children, and her younger sister Crystal Johnson is also a recording artist who is signed to Divercity Records under the stage name Lil' Crystal. Before her stint on American Idol, she participated in pageants, as did my number 1 American Idol finalist.

McGhee originally auditioned for American Idol season 2, but she did not advance to the callback audition round. She auditioned for American Idol season 5 in Denver, Colorado. She has family in Colorado, whom she stayed with during the audition rounds. She was able to advance to the callback audition round in which she auditioned in front of the judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell. She auditioned with the song "Can't Fight the Moonlight" by LeAnn Rimes. Although Cowell gave her a 6 out of 10, she was given a "Yes" by Jackson and Abdul, and was sent to Hollywood. During the group round, Simon declared her group the best group of the day. During the Green Mile round, the judges put her through to the top 24, competing for America's vote. McGhee was perceived as an underdog since she received no airtime prior to the voting rounds, a situation one other contestant face that season. During the semifinals, she garnered support from Jackson and Abdul, but Simon criticized her performances.

During top 24 week, she performed "When the Lights Go Down" by Faith Hill. During top 20 week, she performed "Why Haven't I Heard From You" by Reba McEntire. After she performed "What About Love" by the rock band called Heart, Simon predicted that she would be eliminated. America proved him wrong according to the results show, as a surprise to the viewers, McGhee was the final girl to advance to the top 12 over Ayla Brown. During top 12 week, alongside the rest of the top 12, McGhee met with Stevie Wonder, and she was embarrassed when she forgot the lyrics to his song "Lately", which would later be performed by Stefano Langone on American Idol season 10, in front of him. She did the same thing during the performance, flubbing a verse and singing the word "recognition" instead of the word "premonition" in the chorus. On the night of March 15, 2006, it was revealed that she garnered the lowest number of votes and she would the first finalist to be eliminated, thus finishing in 12th place. She was in the bottom 3 with Ace Young and Lisa Tucker. During the finale, she performed "I Made It Through the Rain" by Barry Manilow alongside the rest of the top 12 and season 4's winner Carrie Underwood, as well as a medley with the other girls of season 5. She also duetted with season 5's 7th placer Ace Young.

After her stint on American Idol, McGhee performed at various festivals like Weeki Wachee Springs and the Pet Rock Festival. She also toured with American Idol season 2's winner Ruben Studdard from October 3 to 7, 2006. She had vocal surgery but made full recovery. She also stars and sings in the new More TV 32 commercial singing "More, More, More". She also appeared at VH1's "Big in '06" alongside her American Idol season's runner-up Katharine McPhee. She appeared at The Nevada Ballet Honors Paula Abdul as 2007 Woman of the Year alongside some fellow American Idol alumni. She appeared on The Dr. Keith Ablow Show on February 9, 2006, discussing life after her stint on American Idol. Since then, she has performed at various concerts and festivals throughout the U.S. state of Florida. Because she wanted to find out who she is as an artist, she postponed her debut album, but she is now at the early stages of recording an album.

McGhee was featured on American Idol compilation album American Idol Season 5: Encores, where she was featured as recording a studio version of the song that got her eliminated.

Next up on my American Idol finalist countdown is my number 100 American Idol finalist. He auditioned for American Idol season 1 in Seattle, Washington, singing the U.S. National Anthem. He was ranked at number 91 on The Los Angeles Times American Idol power rankings list of May 31, 2010.

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