American Idol is focusing on lots of new faces this year.
But Brandy Neelly is something of an Idol veteran, having made it to Hollywood each of the past two seasons.
Last year, her audition was featured, but she was cut in the group round after performing “Sin Wagon” in a group that also included eventual runner-up Kree Harrison.
Brandy vowed to return and followed through on that promise.
And she sounds very determined in her Road to Hollywood video.
“I want to be the next American Idol,” the personable 18-year-old says, “and I’m not giving up until I am.”
According to her Facebook bio, she’s been singing since she was 9 and is now attending Eastern Kentucky University. Idol identified her as a fitness center receptionist
“Music is my therapy,” she writes on Facebook. “So are cookies.”
As musical influences, she lists Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Patsy Cline and Carrie Underwood. Yep, you could say she’s a fan of country music.
“I like people who have found a way to stay in the business a really long time,” she says. “As they go along, they transform into what’s new and what’s fresh, but they’re still themselves. I really admire people like that.”
During Idol’s Detroit auditions, Brandy sang “Wanted” and got rave reviews from the panel, particularly from country judge Keith Urban.
Now, here are some samples of Brandy in action.
“Holding Out for a Hero” cover
“We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (cover)
“Stars” cover with Michael Powers