Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tyanna's Heartfelt Homecoming; Florida Theatre Cheers for Its Girl in American Idol Live! Tour

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tyanna's Heartfelt Homecoming; Florida Theatre Cheers for Its Girl in American Idol Live! Tour

Article excerpt

Byline: David Crumpler

The hometown girl was a big hit.

The American Idol Live! tour came to Jacksonville on Wednesday, bringing the Top 5 finalists from the past season of the Fox series to The Florida Theatre for two hours of crowd-pleasing pop, rock, country and soul.

Though the audience responded enthusiastically to all the performers, the applause meter tipped in favor of Tyanna Jones.

And not without justification. The Jacksonville teenager gave fans plenty to cheer about.

With her big, expressive and elastic voice, she packed emotion into songs like Meghan Trainor's "Lips are Movin' " and Beyonce's "Sweet Dreams." Her warm stage presence and dazzling smile helped the 16-year-old singer generate some of the evening's most memorable moments.

Backed by a full band, each finalist performed several solos, as well as some group numbers, starting with Lenny Kravitz's "Are You Going My Way?" and ending with Charlie Puth's "See You Again" and Fun's "Some Nights."

The format allowed them to show that they all had something a little different to offer.

Jones, along with "Idol" winner Nick Fradiani and the other finalists, Clark Beckham, Jax and Rayvon Owen, also got to share stories about themselves, giving the concert the "up close and personal" touch that was promised early in the show.

Since the youngest (Jones) is 16 and the oldest (Fradiani) is 29, and celebrity is new to all of them, there were recurring themes of chasing your dreams and being grateful to fans.

It's the kind of thing that could have gotten a little stale if it weren't for the fact that the stories were all genuinely endearing - and frequently quite funny as well.

Jones, who turns 17 next month, became a hometown celebrity as she survived round after round of cuts when the show began broadcasting in January. During that time, she was also the inspiration for a couple of "watch parties" at Westside High School, where she was a junior.

She made it to the Top 5 before being eliminated from the competition in late April, thereby earning a spot in this summer's tour, which launched last week in Clearwater and is scheduled for 37 cities over the next two months. …

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