‘American Idol’: Get To Know Tyanna Jones (Exclusive Interview)

16 year-old has 10 siblings, was homeless for two years


Tyanna Jones 'American Idol' Audition
Tyanna Jones
nearly blew her audition for AMERICAN IDOL!

“I am a talkative person, but when I walked in there my whole body shut down,” she remembers.

“I was just looking at [the judges] with this awkward stare like they were supposed to start the conversation. I was like, ‘Hi…’

The 16 year-old eventually pulled herself together and blew ‘em away with her take on the Little Mix hit, “Wings.”

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“As soon as I started performing I became me again,” she tells TheTVPage.com in an exclusive interview.

“I was outgoing and loud. After I was done I was kind of scared because nobody said anything. It was a long pause. A death stare or whatever. So I was on the verge of tears.”

“Finally, J Lo, she said, ‘Tyanna, I like you because you are a natural performer.”’ And I was like, ‘[Whoa] JLo said I was a natural performer! This is sweet. This is cool.”

Not bad for a girl who was homeless in Jacksonville, Florida at age two.

She’s the middle of 11 siblings being raised in a home with just two bathrooms.

“I always tell my mom, ‘If I win, I definitely have to get you a house, a car and a room. If I could get you your own separate room and set it outside so you don’t have to hear all that noise, I would.”

Here’s more of what she had to share:

Is it the coolest thing in he world to have that many siblings?
It is never a dull moment. Of course I have my moment where I am like, “Okay…” but they also have their moments because I am always singing. It’s like “Tyanna, can you shut up? We get it. You’re talented.” Of course I tell them sometimes I need my space — even though I share a room with two of them. But it is never boring. It is always loud or laughing or watching TV together and eating pizza…

Do you think one day you would like to have 11 kids of your own?
I cannot say that. I always tell my mom “You were the right person to have this many kids” because she is such a mom. Even people she hasn’t birthed will call her Mama Tammy. She is just that type of person. I am really calm in a way, so I don’t think I would be able to deal with that [many children].

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What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t making music?
Nothing. I always tell people “I have no plan B.” Teenagers are usually the type of [people] to say “If I don’t make it this way, I am going to go this way…” I don’t have anywhere else to go. This is what I want to do.

We have to talk about the hair…
Let’s talk about he hair! It’s been many colors… I did brown and then I did red and then I was like, “This isn’t fun enough.” So I did blue. Then I did purple and then I did pink. And now it is like an aqua color. It is like another way of expressing how I feel. It is my personality.

These shows always try to make the contestants over as they go through the competition. Are you going to let them mess with the hair?
I would like it if they didn’t. It is always okay to have a big poof. Sometimes they can spray a little oil sheen in it or something. But I want my color and I want my natural hair. If they — I am always open to advice, but I think my hair is where I draw the line.

You have the perfect name for an American Idol!
Thank you! I like my name, too. When I was younger, I aways wanted to be my middle name. My middle name is Elise. But Tyanna fits me.

Tell me three fun things about yourself…
1. I am loud.
2. I dance.
3. My favorite color is purple.

You have all this talent for music. What else are you really good at?
I am good at math. I am a good student. I am a junior (in high school). Math is my best subject. I have a 102.1 in prob stat. Math is my favorite subject, but other than that, I am [all about] music.

What do you sing in the shower?
Everything. You know that song, “Singing in the shower…” I literally have my phone with me sitting on the side of the shower and it is playing music, so whatever is on I am just like performing. So I don’t sing. I perform in the shower.

You must not get to take very long showers with 11 kids.
Actually, there are two showers. We get the master bedroom, the older girls get the master bedroom. We have our own shower, so I can take as long as I want.

AMERICAN IDOL airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox.

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at TheTVPage.com
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly