Name: Burnell Taylor
Bio: American Idol 2013 Top 20 contestant Burnell Taylor lost everything to Hurricane Katrina. Well, everything but his amazing voice! Despite the hardship he’s suffered, Burnell has never given up on his dreams, which makes his mom very proud. Burnell says making it to the Season 12 Top 20 left him feeling “overwhelmed” and “speechless” with joy.
Burnell, 19, auditioned for the American Idol judges in Baton Rouge, LA, where his family moved after their home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. His song choice, “I’m Here” fromThe Color Purple, seemed a bit odd to the judges at first, but it only took a few notes to have them falling in love. He was one of the few contestants during auditions to receive a standing ovation from the judges.
During the guys’ Hollywood Week rounds, Burnell Taylor continued to excel with a great group showing of “Some Kind of Wonderful” and a solid solo on “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri. In the Top 40 Vegas sudden death rounds, Burnell shined once again with “This Time” by John Legend. While Randy Jackson thought it wasn’t quite as awesome as some of his other performances, Nicki Minaj said it was one of the best in Vegas.
American Idol Season: 12 (2013)
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Audition: Burnell Taylor auditioned for American Idol 2013 Season 12 in Baton Rouge, LA. He performed “I’m Here” from The Color Purple and received a standing ovation from the judges. He was chosen to go on to the Hollywood rounds.
Hollywood Week A Capella Round: During the guys’ Hollywood Week, Burnell’s a capella performance was not shown, but he was selected to move on to the group round.
Hollywood Week Group Round: During the guys' Hollywood Week, Burnell performed “Some Kind of Wonderful” by Grand Funk Railroad in the ‘MoFLO’ group with Mario Jose, Darien Moses, and Tony Foster Jr. From this group, Burnell and Tony were moved on to the solo round.
Hollywood Week Solo Round: During the guys' Hollywood Week solo round, Burnell performed “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri. He was picked by the judges to go to Vegas as part of the Top 40.
Top 40/Las Vegas Round 4: Burnell Taylor performed “This Time” by John Legend in the Las Vegas sudden death rounds. Nicki Minaj thought it was the best performance of the night, although Randy Jackson didn’t think it was his best performance. He was selected to move on to the Top 20.
Top 20/Semi-Finals Round 2: Burnell reprised his Baton Rouge audition with his rendition of "I'm Here" from The Color Purple for the Top 10 guys semi-finals round. The judges agreed that his voice is instantly recognizable and filled with genuine emotion.
Semi-Finals Results Show: Burnell Taylor was chosen as one of the Season 12 Top 10. He performed “Ready For Love” by India.Arie as his celebration song.
Top 10 Performance Show: Burnell performed his rendition of Reuben Studdard's "Flying Without Wings" during the Top 10 performance show. The song choice was a bit safe, but the judges all raved about loving Burnell's voice.
Top 9 Performances Show: Burnell sang "Let It Be" by the Beatles for the Top 9 John Lennon and Paul McCartney theme show and received strong praise for his performance.
Top 8 Performances Show: Burnell's performance of "My Cherie Amour" went over well with the judges. However, his group performance of "I Can't Help Myself" with Lazaro Arbos and Devin Velez got him thrown off the stage by judge Nicki Minaj. He made it through to the Top 7 anyway though.
Top 7 Performance Show: Burnell Taylor stepped way out of his comfort zone by singing Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" during the Top 7 performance. The judges commended him for the effort, but noted he looked uncomfortable while performing the tune.
Top 7 Results Show: Burnell Taylor had the lowest number of votes. He sang "Ready For Love" by India.Arie as his 'save me' song, but the judges decided not to use their one save to rescue him from elimination.
- L. A. Vess