By Showbiz Shelly

18 year old British-born American singer Hollie Cavanagh’s American Idol journey may have ended, but her musical career has only begun. B96/Chicago is reporting live from Los Angeles all week long for the American Idol season 11 finale, and Hollie took the time to chat about her redemption story, having Jennifer Lopez as a mentor, and going on tour with this season’s Top 10 this year.

When Hollie auditioned to be on season 11 of American Idol, it was her second time in a row. Hollie reflected on the past two years, saying “It’s definitely a crazy thing to think about. I didn’t even make the Top 24 last year, and I went back and worked very hard for a year, and then came back and I got tougher this year. I can’t really complain. I’m just very proud.”

It’s very easy to focus on the negative, and give up after trying. Hollie made up her mind and listened to the judges. “With Jennifer’s (Lopez) advice, I was very determined to work hard. If you really want to do something, you just can’t go at it one time, and be like, oh it didn’t work out, I’m done,” Hollie shared.

In season 10, Hollie was very shy, but had a big voice. This season she really showed America who she is and proved that she deserves to be on the Idol stage. Even Hollie recognizes how far she has come. “I definitely think I’m coming out of my shell more. Even onstage I’m not so timid. It takes practice and it takes time to grow.”

If any judge in particular had the biggest impact on Hollie, it was Jennifer Lopez. “I was very close to Jennifer. A lot of girls are, especially in this competition, because she’s a very strong, powerful woman in the music industry. It’s something we want to be.”

Since Hollie is originally from England, and she currently lives in Texas, she has a very interesting accent that makes her stand out. “I remember when I came here, it was very strong. When I was in high school, I would always put on this American accent. I would say something and people would be like, ‘What was that?’ Then I’d repeat it because I thought they didn’t understand it. They’d be like, ‘One more time.’ Then they’d laugh, just because they wanted to hear me say it.”

Hollie graduated from high school last year, and now she’ll be part of the next American Idol Live! tour. Hollie said excitedly, “It’s something we’re all looking forward to, and in the show it’s something you strive for. I think it will be a lot more fun, not worrying about what judges are going to say.”

Follow CBS this week as they cover the American Idol finale. Check out a collection of their snapshots and observations!

-Danielle Clasing, B96 Chicago

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