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Country Singer Chelsea Sorrell: American Idol 11 (2012) Spoilers and Predictions
Country singer Chelsea Sorrell made it to the Las Vegas audition round on the 10th season of American Idol. She has returned and is in the Top 42 for Season 11, according to TheIdolPad. With her similarity to Lauren Alaina, it is not surprising that Chelsea would be cut last year. This year, she is more likely to make the voting rounds. If she does, however, her relatively limited country voice will make it difficult to win American Idol.
Chelsea also participated with several other Idol contestants on a tour of Japan, including Jimmie Allen, Janell Wheeler, Rachel Zevita and others. This tour took place between Seasons 10 and 11, and you can see Sorrell performing during that tour in the video below.
To be honest, Chelsea could not be confused as anything but a country singer. Her vocal tone is undeniably country, and she certainly is above average in the genre. However, there is nothing particularly special about her vocal tone, and this will make it hard for her to stand out. She has a good honky-tonk style voice and would be great at any jamboree. But that is not enough to win American Idol. And coming off a season where the Top 2 were country singers, the odds of another making it are even slimmer.
Chelsea's goals are really more about setting up a record deal after Idol. While I predict she cannot win, I can equally predict that she has a decent chance at a record deal if she makes the Top 12. In particular, country fans have been very supportive of American Idol contestants. Even contestants who "converted" to country or used the genre to capitalize off of their Idol fame have done pretty well (Danny Gokey and Phil Stacey have at least had moderate success even though they sing a variety of different genres).
So, while the timing is not good for Chelsea Sorrell to win Idol, the exposure is very important, and she really ups her chances if she can squeeze into that Top 12. For this reason, it would be advisable for her to stick mostly to her country roots during the auditions and the first live singing round (voting round) if she gets picked for the Top 24. That way, she will at least get the country vote that is watching. If she is saddled with a non-country song, Chelsea could be in danger of being eliminated during the first voting round. This would be bad, as country singers who have not made it to at least the Top 10 have generally failed to gain enough exposure to get a record deal after Idol.