Hi there J-14ers!
I'll admit there was a time when I used to drag my friends 2 1/2 hours away in a snowstorm to see an American Idol concert, but the last few years, the show just hasn't had the same kind of spark... until I saw 16-year-old Alpharetta, GA, student Isabel Gonzalez audition in Charlotte, N.C.
Right away, I fell in love with the adorable story of her being too shy to even think to audition, but landing in front of the Idol judges because her aunt Bernie Haberman nominated her. "I nominated Isabel because she has an amazing voice, but she'd be too nervous to go on her own," her aunt said. "But I figured if I give her that little push, she could rise to the occasion and really rise to the top."
And boy were her aunt's instincts right -- Isabel stood out enough for judge Randy Jackson to surprise her at school one day and hand her an audition number. And then she wowed the judges with her take on Sam Cooke's "Nothing Can Change This Love."
From the minute she sang her first note, I was mesmerized -- and apparently so were the judges. "You're doing it so effortlessly -- you're up there and you're not even trying," Nicki Minaj said. And Mariah Carey added, "People are going to fall in with love you because you are a star!"
And for me, I also fell for her effortless chic style right away. At school, she was wearing an adorable polished preppy black-and-white outfit -- and said she was worried about picking the right audition outfit. But she totally nailed it. Her navy patterned overlay dress was one part pretty, one part punky --Â and her chunky statement necklace added a pop of classic boldness while her leather shoes gave a punch of rockstar power. (Psst! Isabel, where did you get that dress? I want it!)
And as obsessed as I am with One Direction's Louis Tomlinson's girlfriend Eleanor Calder's style, I think Izzi Gonzalez may give her a run for my top choice for style icon!
Watch Isabel's audition here and let me know what you think of her singing and her style:
Can't wait to hear from you, J-14ers! Rachel Chang J-14 Editor-in-Chief