March 24, 2016

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Full biography of Sonika Vaid.

Sonika Vaid was born on August 4, 1995 to parents of Indian origin. “They started from having nothing in America after migration from India,” remarked Sonika, “They have always nurtured the American dream in their minds.” The family migrated to Weston, Massachusetts when Sonika was a child. As Sonika Vaid grew, the family decided to relocate to Martha’s Vineyard. In America’s beloved wine country, Sonika honed her talent for singing. By the age of three, she’d cemented her love of performing. She soon after learned to play the piano. By high school, Sonika was performing at a local park near her home during special events. After graduating from Weston High School in 2013, Sonika decided to pursue a college education, majoring in biology.


Sonika Vaid auditioned for American Idol in Denver, Colorado. The biology student with a knack for singing was an underdog in the race for the golden ticket. Despite her inexperience and unfortunate performance on The Voice, Sonika’s luck was changing. She blew the judges away with a dulcet rendition of “Look At Me” by Carrie Underwood. Jennifer Lopez loved it. “That’s a pure, god-given voice,” praised Harry Connick Jr., “you’re so going to Hollywood.”

Sonika with her Mom and Ryan Seacrest after she won her ticket to Hollywood

Sonika with her Mom and Ryan Seacrest after she won her ticket to Hollywood

Sonika’s otherworldly voice won her a golden ticket to Hollywood and the tearful joy of her parents. Sonika’s mother was present at the audition and contacted her father via Skype. “I knew you had talent,” he exclaimed. Sonika’s parents are crucial to her success. “I owe my ticket to Hollywood to my mom who has always supported me. She is my number one fan,” claimed Sonika.

The farewell season of American Idol is a testament to the willpower and determination of the contestants. Many of the aspiring performers have tested their mettle in similar talent competitions to varying success. Singer Sonika Vaid is one of them; on the fourth season of rival talent competition The Voice, Sonika was thoroughly rejected. Not a single one of the show’s judges lauded her performance. Despite her prior failure, Sonika has clung to her dream of becoming a professional musician. She’s taken the fifteenth and final season of American Idol by storm. With her raw determination and skillfully honed talent, Sonika Vaid has proven herself a formidable opponent for the other contestants on the show.

Sonika and her leather pants on the American Idol stage

Sonika and her leather pants on the American Idol stage

The Indo-American songstress was primed for the Hollywood rounds of American Idol. Despite her mounting anxiety over the challenge, Sonika pulled off a crowd-pleasing rendition of “Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift. “My heart was racing and so many emotions were running through my mind,” she commented, “Talking to the judges made me feel like I was in a dream, but holding that golden ticket in my hand made everything so real. I couldn’t be more thrilled about making it through.” Sonika was an early favorite for the audience. The judges, due to their discerning nature, weren’t quite as impressed. Jennifer Lopez commented that there was “something missing” in Sonika’s voice. Tensions were growing in the judgement room as Sonika braced herself for dismissal. Yet, despite that missing puzzle piece, Sonika was invited to a spot in the top twenty-four.

To earn herself a position in the top fourteen contestants, Sonika Vaid performed a deeply emotional rendition of “I Surrender” by Celine Dion. This was a repeat performance; she previously sang the solo during her progression to the top twenty-four. Although her original performance was deemed lackluster, her second attempt was vastly improved. She tapped into the emotional power of the song and belted the chorus without hesitation. She swayed the crowd and judges with a beautifully extended final note. “That was crazy,” praised judge Jennifer Lopez, “you have a full-package voice.”

Sonika Vaid photo collage

Sonika Vaid photo collage

Sonika isn’t limited to lyrics about love affairs, however. To hallmark her progression into the top ten contestants, Sonika belted an emotive classic: “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence. Accompanied by a slew of background singers, Sonika belted every note. She once again channeled her emotions into a heartfelt performance. She was awarded unyielding applause. “Baby, you’re dangerous,” shouted Jennifer Lopez, “you can start coming into your own and believing in yourself.” Guest judge Kelly Clarkson praised Sonika’s flawless pitch. Sonika easily won herself a shot in the top ten.

To earn her position in the top eight, Sonika Vaid temporarily transformed into a contemporary pop starlet. Clad in glitzy gold and ripped skinny jeans, Sonika emerged on stage to sing a rendition of “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson. “You’re going to see a side of Sonika that’s kind of an angry girlfriend,” Vaid stated prior to her performance, “I’ve never had a boyfriend — but I’m going to be an angry girlfriend.”

Sonika Vaid singing on stage

Sonika Vaid singing on stage

Sonika engaged the crowd throughout her rendition; for the first time, she was demonstrating desirable showmanship that complemented her powerful vocals. The majority of criticism from the judges was directed towards Sonika’s presentation and composition rather than her voice. “The band could’ve provided a big ‘boom’ before the hook,” said one judge. Another, Jennifer Lopez, constructively criticised her investment in her character. “You have to get lost in the character,” she said, “there were times when you were happy and smiling, and that’s when I really felt it.”


Sonika Vaid possesses a powerful and versatile voice that renders her a fearsome opponent for the other contestants. Unfortunately for her, she also has her share of drawbacks. While Sonika has mastered her voice and routinely produces excellent vocals, her performances lack the “je ne sais quoi” commonly referred to in the business as “star quality”. She can’t carry a performance on her voice alone; she needs to gesticulate and project the lyrics of her songs. The judges said as much in her top eight verdict — Sonika’s voice is superb, but her showmanship could use work. She steadily improved, however, throughout the competition.

Tristan McIntosh

Tristan McIntosh

Tristan McIntosh was born on April 25, 2000 in Nashville, Tennessee to a currently overseas Army major, her mom Amy McIntosh and her dad Freddie McIntosh. Tristan attended the Nashville School of the Arts and is a member of the Clarksville’s Faith Outreach Church community. She has been performing in local talent competitions since she was thirteen. In 2013, she won the Q108’s Clarksville’s Got Talent competition for her enchanting voice. The musical maven has since participated in local choirs and the Let Freedom Sing Tour.


A true Southern girl

The farewell season of American Idol sports a host of talent competition veterans and musical prodigies groomed for the competition since childhood and Tristan McInotsh is one of them. Unlike the other Southern contestants, Tristan McIntosh has embraced her heritage and performed a medley of country songs during her stint on American Idol. The independent teen won’t shy away from sultry country classics, as many of the other contestants have. Contestants Dalton Rapattoni and Mackenzie Bourg come to mind — both share a Southern heritage and a reluctance to grace the audience with country crooning. Southern belle Tristan McIntosh shows no such fear of stereotyping. She belts and croons in her charming Nashville twang to an uproar of applause. She’s the sole contestant on the fifteenth and final season of American Idol to claim country music as her forte — a powerful statement in a pool of contestants that prefer pop and alternative rock.

Tristan McIntosh - American Idol Contestant

Tristan McIntosh – American Idol Contestant

Nashville pride aside, Tristan McIntosh has jettisoned through the competition to a well-earned spot in the top eight. With her good standing among the judges and enchanting voice, Tristan poses a major threat to the opposition. The only contestants comparable in raw talent would be La’Porsha Renae and Sonika Vaid — two of the frontrunners for the title. The talent Tristan McIntosh has in spades could only be tarnished by poor song choice and direction. Thankfully, Tristan seems confident in her set list and theatrics. The virtuoso even rejected advice from original American Idol winner and pop sensation Kelly Clarkson; instead of performing a recommended song, Tristan veered in the direction of a personal favorite. The independent-minded spitfire has a lot to offer the world of music.

Tristan McIntosh at church

Tristan McIntosh at church

Her special audition

Tristan McIntosh originally auditioned in Little Rock, Arkansas alongside several fellow American Idol hopefuls. In the company of her loving father, Freddie, Tristan vowed to make her mother proud. “I feel like my mom’s going to be here in spirit,” she remarked. Dressed to the nines in a spiffy jacket and black bow, the precocious teen rocked the judges with a soulful rendition of “Why Baby Why” by Mickey Guyton. The country hit suited McIntosh’s charming piano and deeply moving vocals. The performance quite literally gave judge Jennifer Lopez chills. “This is why I’m bursting. I see in you something very, very special,” she said. Tristan’s mother even issued her a letter, which was read aloud by Harry Connick Jr. as Tristan teared up. “You’re my big hero,” read the letter, “and I wish you luck on your audition. Most importantly, have fun.” Tristan was visibly sobbing as the remaining judges ushered her into the Hollywood round. Shortly after, in one of the most heart-wrenching moments in American Idol history, Tristan was personally given her golden ticket by the one person she didn’t expect to arrive: her mother. Tearfully embracing her beloved mother, Tristan received her ticket: “Tristan, you’re going to Hollywood!”

Tristan McIntosh the day of her audition

Tristan McIntosh the day of her audition

Her journey on American Idol

Tristan is ready to compete amongst the other candidates for the coveted Big Machine Records deal. Tristan McIntosh is armed with an enchanting voice and a flair for theatrics that will undoubtedly aid her in the coming rounds. With her mother present at the introductory round of Hollywood Week, Tristan McIntosh performed “Something In The Water” by Carrie Underwood. The judges immediately selected Tristan to proceed. Flying down the staircase, Tristan met her mother in a joyous hug. It was only the beginning for Tristan. For her solo round during Hollywood Week, Tristan managed to wrangle a song she was deeply emotionally connected with: “What Hurts the Most” by Mark Wills. Predictably she dedicated the song to her mother. Her performance was absolutely heartbreaking; Tristan pummeled the competition with her truly heartfelt rendition of the sorrowful country hit. “I got really emotional during that performance,” Tristan said after the fact, “I almost started crying on stage.” The heart-stealing country crooner had her big break after that performance. She advanced into the showcase round with aplomb.

In the showcase round, Tristan delivered an absolutely remarkable performance of “Stronger” by Faith Hill. Tristan’s voice was infectiously powerful as she belted the lyrics to the song. The judges were impressed by her consistent excellent performance, but they were eager to hear more from the young singer. They praised her voice, of course, but were hesitant to elect her into the top twenty-four. Tristan needed to demonstrate that she had the versatility to cover a wider variety of songs; in that vein, they decided they were ready for more of her. They selected her to progress.

In the duet round, Tristan McIntosh was paired with singer Kellie Pickler to perform the latter’s hit single “Best Days of Your Life”. Kellie and her family were so moved by Tristan’s initial audition that they cried — all the evidence they needed to know that they had to support Tristan. Together, they choreographed the moment that Tristan wanted to be the highlight of the performance: after the second chorus. “Kellie brings out the happier, sassier side of me,” remarked Tristan. Boy, did it show. Tristan was a sauntering starlet on that stage. She engaged the crowd and bounced around the stage like she owned it. At the tender age of fifteen, Tristan was already singing like a professional.

Kristan McIntosh with Kelley Picker

Kristan McIntosh with Kellie Picker

Tristan’s progress after that round was momentous. She owned her solo performance of “Good Girl” by Carrie Underwood. The sassy, saucy Tristan was out in full force. She was slamming the audience with riff after riff — the audience couldn’t resist her power. She was singing loud and proud. As she progressed through the competition — landing in the top ten — she continued to grow as a vocalist. In her performance of “Nothin’ Like You” by Dan + Shay. In the top eight, Tristan bestowed the audience with a piano accompanied rendition of “Go Rest On That High Mountain” by Vince Gill. Once again, Tristan proved herself worthy of her position. The teenage singer has a bright future ahead of her.