American Idol is back for its 18th season. This Sunday, February 23, 2020, Cyniah Elise is one of the hopeful contestants to sing her audition song in front of the judges.
Elise is one of the early standouts of the season. On her social media pages, she describes herself as an actress and singer. She has been performing since she was two years old.
Elise’s audition airs on Sunday, February 23 during the 2-hour episode of American Idol, which begins at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Here’s what you need to know about Elise:
1. She Has Been Singing Since She Was Two
Cyniah Elise is only currently 17 years old, but she has been preparing to perform on a show like American Idol since she was two years old.
Elise performed her first solo at just two years old at the Cornerstone Baptist Church. Her mother was the choir director at the church at the time.
At around 3 years old, Elise began taking piano lessons, and she continued to perform in the church throughout her youth.
2. Elise Has Over 700 YouTube Subscribers
Elise began uploading videos to her YouTube channel two years ago. Her first video is a four-minute, 32 second video is a cover of “Stand Up For Love” and has 3,400 views at the time of writing.
Her other cover videos include “All I Ask,” by Adele, “Almost is Never Enough” by Ariana Grande and “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston.
The YouTube channel also features videos of Elise singing in church and at events. She sang the “Star Spangled Banner” at a high school and won a talent show in Atlanta. The most recent upload was over a year ago.
3. She Is From the Atlanta Area
Elise is from the Atlanta area where she attends Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts. The school’s mission statement is to pursue excellence through the arts, and it is located in Jonesboro, Georgia.
The school is named after Matha Ellen Stilwell, who was an educator in the school system in Clayton County, Georgia. She was the first Fine Arts Coordinator for the school district and started the children’s choir there.
The Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts opened in 2014 as a way to meet the needs of the fine arts community. There are approximately 600 students in attendance, all in grades 9-12. Students receive training in their courses in dance, theatre, vocal music, orchestra, band, guitar, piano or visual arts. The students are also able to work with professionals in their chosen fields.
4. Elise Says Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson are Her Idols
According to WSB-TV 2, Elise adores Beyoncé and looks up to Jennifer Hudson as one of her personal idols.
Hudson is a suitable idol for an American Idol hopeful, as she got her start in the third season of American Idol. Though she did not win, placing seventh place, she rose to fame shortly after her time on the show.
Hudson also auditioned for American Idol in Atlanta at a relatively young age. She is generally agreed to be one of the greatest Idol contestants ever.
5. She Has Over 15,000 Followers on Instagram
Elise uploads most of her singing videos to Instagram, where she has over 15,000 followers at the time of writing. In August 2019, she uploaded a video of her singing “Almost is Never Enough” by Ariana Grande, which has over 5,000 views.
She more recently posted to encourage her followers to watch her American Idol audition. She wrote, “The time is here you guys tune in next Sunday to see what happens!!!!”
Tune in to American Idol on Sunday, February 23, at 8 p.m. to see if Elise gets a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.