She is one of those people that you remember from the first time that you see them. Alexis Grace has that "something" that makes you sit up and say, "wow, who is this person?"
That's they way most of us felt when she showed up on American Idol, first as a hopeful from Memphis, then in the finals until the second week of eliminations, when she sang Dolly Parton's "Jolene" - a girl from Tennessee singing a song from another girl from Tennessee.
It should have been magic, but the judges said not now.
"My whole family was like sobbing and crying and my aunt looks down at my daughter and says, crying, 'Momma's coming home,'" Grace said four years ago after being eliminated from the Idol competition. "She goes, 'yea!' (clapping)."
That was when we knew that she would be okay, instead of running out of the building crying. Grace still had her sense of humor and planned to used the Idol experience to move on doing what she loved doing.
"I'm going to keep going out there and sing and trying to get a record deal record, and album, and tour and so this amazing show has opened so many doors," she said four years ago. "So, you might see me again soon."
Flash forward almost most four years and we find Grace getting up before the sun to do a morning radio show in Memphis. doing Broadway musicals, and about to record a single.
She did it by staying in her home town. Staying grounded.
"I definitely think actually being from Memphis gives people some street cred," Grace said. "I remember being on the show and I didn't think it would have any street cred. They were just like, 'where are you from?,' and I would say 'Memphis.' They would all think that was the coolest thing."
If you had to be anywhere trying to make it in the music business, Memphis is not only a cool place to be - it is the right place to be.
"His name is Scott Bomar and I met him a couple of years ago right after I got off Idol, and he plays with several bands around town. The Bo-Keys is one. He's produced a lot of albums that I'm interested in. Did some stuff with Craig Brewer and I just really like his work, and the studio is awesome."
"It's hard, you have to be self-motivated, get up every day and you have to do something to further your career," she added. "I think I hope that it's working for me. I feel like I've gotten something out of all this. I'm working at the radio station, which is a great job. Never thought I would have done that but it was because of Idol I got the job. I get to perform all the time still with other American Idols, and right now I finally settled down.
There life after Idol for Grace. She's happy, looks great and she's doing what she loves.
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