The alert reader of previous blogs will detect that I really wanted Lacey Brown out of "American Idol." Now she is and I feel silly about it. After her interview with reporters today, I realize there's much that I like about her.
I like the fact that she co-exists in both worlds; she talks fondly of growing up as the daughter of two Texas preachers, but has a sort of hot-rocker look. I like the fact that she's self-described as happy, bubbly and cheerful -- which is just how she sounds on the phone -- but digs into deep ballads. And I like the fact that she studies Patsy Cline, a great singer from before her parents' time.
I like everything except, perhaps, her singing. Anyway, here's the story that I sent to papers after today's interview:
By MIKE HUGHES
Lacey Brown spent the first half of her
life in semi-silence.
She was a preacher's kid times two; in
the comfortable cocoon of her parents' church, she didn't need to
“I was pretty shy,” recalled Brown,
the first person from this year's final 12 to be voted out by
“American Idol” viewers. Then “I decided at 13 or 14 that I
didn't want to be shy anymore.”
She had to force herself. In stores,
she would ask where something was – even if she already knew –
just so she could talk to strangers. And in church, she sang.
“The first note I ever sang was
there,” said Brown, 24. “I just got really involved.” She sang
in church three times a week and, after high school, began performing
around her home town of Amarillo.
She just missed the "Isol" top 36 last season,
then made this year's 12. Still, people had trouble pegging her.
The look seemed to sort of reflect
Nikki McKibbin from the first “Idol” season – bright red hair,
stylish cut, lots of eye shadow and accessories and such. The song
choice was different: “Even though I'm a happy, bubbly person, …
I really love ballads. I love telling stories with my songs.”
When this week focused on Rolling
Stones songs, she chose “Ruby Tuesday.” Brown said she used a few
touches from the plaintive version cut by Melanie (Safka) in 1970, but mostly had her
own arrangement; a former violinist, she had four violinists onstage.
Judges were guardedly enthusiastic;
viewers, apparently, weren't and Brown missed her shot at the top-10
tour. “I woke up (Wednesday) morning and had the strangest feeling
I was going home.”
By the next morning, she was back to happy-bubbly. It's a personality that she says comes from a
childhood in which her school and her after-school hours were at her
parents' church. “I loved growing up in the church …. They've
really been supportive and they'll be my family forever.”