By: Hawa Wesseh
The oldest singing competition on US TV is just taking off as the Voice and the X-Factor that are also competitors went to bed. American Idol Season 12 is here and the contestants are coming out to party and look who showed up as the bash is heating up in Las Vegas; it is Liberian Zoanette Johnson!
Even five time Grammy winner Mariah Carey was unrestrained in her praises for the West African this week saying, “I feel like you’re a very giving person and maybe it’s because we’re in Vegas or not or maybe it’s what people feel you’re the cookie cutter person, you have your personality and you could be gracing someone’s Broadway stage tomorrow doing something totally different, artistically that we haven’t even thought of,” Nick Cannon’s wife said.
Zoanette’s arousing recital took the show by storm; she had the judges holding their seats. This year’s panel includes Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj, with Randy the longest serving and returning judge. He formed part of the original first cast of judges which included Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. Zoanette lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
According to Zoanette she gives “medical assistance [to] the elderly,” and that she is “originally from Monrovia, Liberia. We had to flee my home country when I was two because of a severe civil war. I want to do this so bad for my country because I believe it is time for a star to rise out of Liberia. I believe I can take that pedestal to open the door for other Liberians.”
American country music star Keith Urban praised her efforts before saying “Kudos to the Queen of the jungle.” Said rapper Nicki Minaj “I am so proud of you,” as she gave the thumbs up for the Liberian songstress.
Veteran judge Randy Jackson also honored the Liberian native when he said, “America, Zoanette showed you right there tonight!” Randy also said the “spirit you have is really what the spirit of a lion and a champion” adding “I know a lot of people been thinking, what are them judges thinking; what in the world is Zoanette doing out there,” in effect giving her the green light to advance, but the decision to see her progress lies with the voting audience. Zoanette sang the “Circle of Life” from the Lion King.