Who. Is. That? I asked myself as I watched Allison Iraheta – with her indescribably booming voice — perform during the 2009 season of American Idol. I must confess, I am not typically an avid American Idol fan. I had never watched any season of it, and I was in the midst of the only show I would ever truly love, LOST. But I just returned home to Los Angeles after the Obama campaign in Florida and was looking for something again to believe in — someone to root for.
In fact, I already knew who Allison Iraheta was. My first job after returning back from the Obama campaign, I was a high school teacher at Los Angeles’ Animo Ralph Bunche Charter School near downtown. Allison was a student there, and her being on the show had consumed the interest of the entire school population.
What Allison may or may not know is that I actually learned a thing or two from observing her profound journey.
1) You gotta go for it.
Allison was only 16 years old when she auditioned for Season 9. I remember when a fellow teacher at Ralph Bunche HS told me early on that Allison was going to go for American Idol. I had never heard Allison sing before, and honestly — my first reaction was wow — is she ready? The first time I saw Allison perform “A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin I was absolutely blown away. I had always believed in precocious, raw talent, but seriously — after seeing Allison, I was a real believer.
The important thing, however, was that Allison was a believer in herself long before she made a run on the American Idol stage. That belief led her to sign up for the season & ultimately be the last woman standing on the American Idol stage, where she came in 4th place.
2) You have to keep going.
I was shocked when Allison was voted off because I still truly believe she had the most amount of raw talent compared to anyone else on the stage that season. However, several years later, Allison is still living her life’s passion, and is currently writing music for her second album. With a show as popular as American Idol, it could be easy for someone to take that as the ultimate judgment day/validation on one’s career. But as Allison continues to prove several years later: that was only the beginning.
3) Confidence makes a difference.
Singing in front of several thousand people — that’s enough to make anyone’s knees tremble with fear. The true mastery of poise is honing in on your inner confidence and being able to project that out when you sing. In fact, Allison’s confidence while up on stage is so mesmorizing, it will leave you wanting to watch more of her performances. Go ahead and check out the video below — Allison performing “Alone”. I bet you will want to check out more of her music!
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