The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

American Idol finalist headlines HIT Idol event


November 5, 2016

Isabelle Kleinschmidt/Daily Globe

Madison Stomberg performs at the sixth annual HIT Idol talent contest at the Historic Ironwood Theatre Friday evening. Thirty-six youth and young adult finalists competed in three age categories. The winners will be announced at tonight's concert with headliner Jessica Meuse. Showtime is 7 p.m.

IRONWOOD - Jessica Meuse, a fourth place finisher on the hit television show American Idol season 13, came into town Friday to fire up local area youth for the Historic Ironwood Theatre's HIT Idol competition this weekend.

Bruce Greenhill, the theater's managing director, was impressed with Meuse's willingness to be available outside her stage show time. He said most artists come in right before a show, so they can spend as little time as possible in the area before leaving, but Meuse was willing to come in early and visit area high schools and engage the students participating in HIT Idol, a regional talent show for youth and young adults.

Thirty-six singers competed in three categories Friday night. Six winners - two in each category - will be announced at tonight's 7 o'clock performance. Meuse will headline tonight's show. The six winners will also perform their solos. The entire group of finalists will also perform and sing back-up vocals for Meuse.

Meuse spent time Friday afternoon performing for students at Ironwood and Hurley schools. After the performances, she took questions.

When asked if she expected to be where she is now when she tried out for American Idol, she said, "I had no idea I would be talking to schools."

Meuse offered the students her personal story about school and her experiences being bullied as a kid, growing up in Alabama. She relayed a story about a younger kid throwing a pizza at her.

Meuse said she's left that period of her life and those people behind her. "If we knew each other in school, you cannot be my friend on Facebook."

Meuse, 26, has grown musically and professionally since her appearance on American Idol in 2014. She has elected to manage herself, do her own bookings, and take charge of her own career.

"No one is going to be as passionate or work as hard for her to be successful as herself," she said.

She intends to manage her career until it becomes to big for her to handle, at which point she will recruit outside talent to help propel her forward.

Meuse, a singer-songwriter, has done some recording and touring.

According to her website,, she will play concerts in the next few weeks in Alabama, Texas and North Carolina.


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