Gianna Isabella’s ‘American Idol’ journey comes to an end
Jackson's Gianna Isabella American Idol journey ended on Thursday night.
The 15-year-old came into the Thursday night's show in the bottom three along with Avalon Young and Olivia Rox, and performed Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" as the final song of the night. It was then up to the judges to move one of them into the final eight — and after conferring for a few moments, Jennifer Lopez, who said the show has not before seen such talent in a bottom three, chose Young to take the last spot.
Isabella kept a positive attitude in her tweets after the show and went out for dinner at California hamburger chain In and Out Burger with Rox and her mother, singer Brenda K. Starr.
"Don't be sad for us. We're stoked that we made the top 10," Rox said in a video with Isabella.
"I'm happy. I'm not sad. At least I know I left on a high note. I sang the best I could," Isabella said in a Periscope video. She said she is headed back to New Jersey on Saturday but will return for the show's series finale.
"This journey's been an incredible one and a life long memory. You can only imagine how much energy this has taken out of (Isabella) for this long run. What a journey for her" Jackson Memorial High School principal Kevin DiEugenio said after the show. "I thought she sounded the best out of those three. I was really surprised. We couldn't be more proud of her in Jackson. She did a great job representing Jackson Township.
DiEugenio said his own 10-year-old daughter was "really amazed by the whole American Idol process" and the fact that a student from her dad's school was on the show.
Billboard's Michele Amabile, who covers "American Idol" and other reality shows, said the sophomore looked beautiful in red on the show.
"Gianna should be proud of how far she got in the competition, and she went out on a high note. She applied what she has learned so far to her performance, with nice results. This isn't the end of the road for her-it's just the beginning!"
Isabella's journey on "American Idol" began during the auditions last summer in Philadelphia. At Isabella's audition her mom, who sang the 1988 hit, was invited to the judges table by Lopez to give Isabella her ticket to Hollywood. Lopez and Starr had practiced in the same studio in the Bronx.
Isabella's week leading to Thursday night's show had been filled with choreography, reheasing, preparing for her own performance, and preparing for the opening performance with the rest of the contestants. Isabella told New Jersey 101.5 she tried to heed Kelly Clarkson's advice from last week to "quit thinking" about her performance.
"When I overthink it sometimes I get to the technical stuff and stuff like that. So right now I'm just trying to have fun and remember the choreography and stuff," she said.
The Jackson Memorial sophomore also had a visit with her grandmother and grandfather who she hadn't seen in a long time.
Isabella said she saw Justin Bieber's band director when she stepped out for some air and some of the stars, "but I had to play it cool and professional but inside I was a 15-year-old fan girl."
Despite tough words from Jennifer Lopez, she said is enjoying the comments because they help her improve and "get my game up."