Question: Who has influenced your personal musical style?
Answer: I draw my influences from every genre: from Aerosmith to Guns N Roses to Bjork and Imogen Heap, to Kim Burrell and Whitney Houston, to Beyonce and Alicia Keys, to Adele and Amy Winehouse.
Question: Who is your favorite male artist and why?
Answer: My favorite male artist of all time is Michael Jackson. He had it all. He had the ability to write, to improvise, and entertain. He was the whole package.
Question: Who is your favorite female artist and why?
Answer: My favorite female artist would have to be Bjork. I admire her creativity and her uniqueness. She is 100% herself and makes no excuses for being exactly who she was born to be.
Question: What was the first concert you attended?
Answer: Ha-ha. I was 12 and my aunt took me to go see Nine Inch Nails. Rock!
Question: If you could perform in any venue?
Answer: That's a tough one; I would probably say every House of Blues and Hard Rock in the country. Great venues.
Question: How has music inspired you?
Answer: Music has been my lifeline. Things in my universe haven't always been aligned. My life has definitely had its rollercoaster moments, lots of up and downs, but music has always been the constant.
Question: Do you have any formal singing training?
Answer: No. I have never had formal training. I had one voice lesson when I was 7, other than that I'm self-taught.
Question: What album would your friends be surprised you own?
Answer: Disney Classics. Every volume. My love for Disney would be no surprise to them but the fact that I own all of the CD's might be :)
Question: If you could perform with any person or group, who would it be and why?
Answer: I would love to share the stage with a great classic rock band like Aerosmith. I also really admire present artists like Jessie J, Beyonce and Adele.
Question: What do you do to unwind after a performance?
Answer: My decompression time usually consists of a brief moment of complete silence, and then getting into pajamas and curling up with a good movie.
Question: Which theme week would be most challenging to you and why?
Answer: I think the most challenging theme week for me would be the straight up power ballad weeks, like Mariah Carey, Celine Dion or Whitney Houston. I don't sing much of that type of music anymore, so my voice might not be showcased for what it is.
Question: What theme week would you love to have for Season 11?
Answer: I would love to have a show tune themed week. It would be so much fun.
Question: What's your dream song to perform?
Answer: I don't have one dream song to perform, but I've always wanted to play Cinderella in Rodgers and Hammerstein's version of 'Cinderella'. More Disney jokes!!
Question: What makes a great performer?
Answer: I think what makes a great performer is the ability to move people. If you are feeling sad, you want a singer to rip your heart right out of your chest. If you're feeling happy and energized, there's nothing better than an artist that can get you up and on your feet. It's such a powerful art form.
Question: How do you combat stage fright?
Answer: I have a little ritual that I like to do before I go on where I listen to some music I use to pump me up. It's usually Eminem, Beyonce, or Rage Against the Machine.
Question: How do you plan on differentiating yourself in the competition?
Answer: I feel like I have R&B chops like a lot of the other girls, with a rock edge. I also think my tone is unique. I have a restraint in my voice that I can pull back or push out. I think that will be helpful in Idol journey.
Question: If you could model your career after an artist, who would it be and why?
Answer: Tori Amos, Adele and Beyonce all have great careers. Tori has a great career that's stayed more low key. Adele was underground, and turned into an international superstar, as is Beyonce. I also admire Idol's first success story, Kelly Clarkson. Her journey has been inspirational to me.
Question: If you couldn't sing, what other talent would you most like to have?
Answer: I love sports, and before music took over my life I played every kind of sport. I would probably have tried to play professional softball, volleyball, or basketball.
Question: What has been the most unique job/chore you've ever had?
Answer: I used to clean hotels. Being a maid was the most interesting job I've probably ever had. I would be practicing my singing and scrubbing toilets at the same time. Fun combo!
Question: How would you define success in life?
Answer: I think success is what you make of it. I need to succeed for myself, in my own mind. It's all relative. I need to be my biggest cheerleader.
Question: What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever seen or experienced??
Answer: I was ejected from a national chorus conference in high school for having friends over for a pizza party after curfew. I was 16. That's been a tough one to let go.
Question: What's your proudest moment in life outside of American Idol?
Answer: My proudest moment outside Idol would probably be when I got to do a performance at Mar-a-Lago for the annual American Cancer Society Gala. Donald Trump was a keynote speaker, and one of the only times he got up to dance with his wife was during my version of 'At Last'.
Question: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Answer: People might be surprised to learn that I've never had vocal training. I'm completely self-taught. I've picked up things along the way but even at my time at Berklee College of Music, I was focusing on production and engineering.
Question: If you have 24 hours to do anything you wanted, what would you do?
Answer: I would take my whole family to Ireland and eat some real corned beef and cabbage. Skip in the meadows.
Question: Who is the person that you would most like to meet?
Answer: I would love to meet Kevin Costner. My mother and I have both had crushes on him for as long as we can remember.
Question: Do you have a favorite quote, phrase or personal motto / words to live by?
Answer: 'All is full of love'-Bjork
Question: What's been the most surprising part of the Idol experience so far?
Answer: I couldn't have imagined how much work goes in here behind the scenes. Lighting, sound, producing, directing...there is so much work that goes into this show and everyone works their tails off to bring a great show to television.
Question: What have you learned about yourself by going through the Idol audition process?
Answer: I definitely feel like I have grown. Musically, I have learned so much from the vocal coaches, musicians, and my fellow contestants. Before Idol, I thought that at 26 years old, I had a solid idea of who I was as a person, but American Idol has taught me to never forget to learn and experience new things every day, and to welcome the change into my heart.
Question: What are you hoping to get out of your Idol experience?
Answer: I have already gotten so much out of my Idol experience. Great friendships, a lifetime's worth of knowledge about music and television...If I go home, the hardest part for me will be the realization that the greatest ride of my life has come to an end. I would do this for the rest of my life, with a heart full of love, and my soul full of music. It's what I was put on this earth to do, and I will never quit.