The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

February 11, 2013

'Idol' contestant has Pineville connection

Singing is a family affair for Lisa Vance and her daughter, Jada.

“She happened to be the one with the talent,” Lisa said.

Jada Vance is among the “American Idol” contestants who earned a “golden ticket” to Hollywood.

Lisa grew up in Wyoming County and is a graduate of Pineville High School. She still has family and friends in West Virginia.

“That’s where we have our family reunions (Pineville),” Lisa said. “And we all sing.”

After high school, Lisa entered the military. When her service ended, she settled in Portland, Tenn., where Jada has grown up.

Now a high school cheerleader, Jada auditioned for “American Idol” judges Randy Jackson, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey in Bowling Green, Ky.

A friend called Jada and told her about the auditions, Lisa explained, just a few hours before the event began.

With little preparation, Jada sang Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” for the panel in August.

“It’s been rolling like a snowball since then,” Lisa said with a laugh.

Jada appeared in both the third and fourth epi-sodes of this season’s show.

The night she was to appear on television for the first time, Jada didn’t stay home to watch. She was at the high school, helping other students get ready for the school’s prom fashion show, providing dresses, shoes and make-up to girls who didn’t have any.

“That’s the way she is,” her mother noted. “We watched it later on the DVR.”

Lisa noted the Hollywood trip was extremely nice, but “very nerve-wracking.”

Jada has been singing all her life — at school, in churches and in competitions, among other venues. So, she took it in stride.

“I heard her say she was ‘more anxious than scared,’” Lisa said of their trip.

“American Idol” extended the family’s Hollywood stay so they could visit with a cousin, Roger Vance, who lives in San Diego, Calif.

“They were very kind to us,” Lisa emphasized.

Does Jada survive the Hollywood competitions? Viewers will have to stay tuned to this week’s shows to find out.

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