Watch Jessica Phillips sing 'Again' by Faith Evans on American Idol (Video)
You’re a long way from home, baby. Jessica Phillips, a 25-year-old dental hygienist from Brooklyn, New York auditions for American Idol in Portland.
Closing out tonight’s auditions show, Jessica was worth waiting for. She sang a brilliant, soulful version of Faith Evans’ Again for the judges. What I liked about Jessica’s audition is that she showed that she can perform. It’s something I grumble about a lot when it comes to reality TV auditions, because often the auditionee doesn’t look like they have any particular feel for the music. So it was nice to see Jessica swaying in time and clicking her fingers. Small touches, but they convinced me that she’s musical and that’s a big thing.
Jennifer Lopez is full of praise for her: “You did that really well. I know you ran out of breath a little bit at the end there.” All three judges vote to send Jessica through to Hollywood. In terms of performance and vocals (i.e. the criteria that matter), Jessica was my absolute favourite audition of the night.
Now, it wouldn’t be a closing performance without a tragic story attached. Jessica’s story is that her boyfriend Angelo had a massive stroke on Easter Sunday 2011. When he regained consciousness, he didn’t know her. However, she stuck with him as a caretaker and talks about the “different kind of love that I feel now”.
In her video intro, Jessica says “Every day is a struggle, but every day is also a blessing.” I’d be more inclined to believe her if she wasn’t crying as she says this. It looks to me like Jessica is almost traumatised by her experience. At the end of the audition, Jessica talks about how this is her way to get back to the music, something which was important to her and Angelo before his stroke.
Finally…and this might be a bit of a spoiler for Hollywood and beyond, but I did a bit of digging around, and it looks like Jessica has a video out for a song called Want It All. Infer from that what you want about her American Idol journey! Here it is.
Finally, if you want to follow Jessica Phillips on Twitter, here you go.